Breaking Through Creative Resistance


As I was playing around with ideas for my next Creative Play Night in Salida (which is tonight:), I grabbed my white crayon to create a crayon resist background. It hit me that this technique is a great metaphor for something I am always working through — creative resistance!

People often tell me I’m creative, and I like to think I’m creative (because I truly believe each of us is creative in her own way), but I often feel that I’m not very creative.

My lifestyle is full with client work & projects; outdoor play & adventure; my home, community & friends; and just everyday life…and it often feels like my creating takes a back seat.

How can I be creative if I don’t always put my creating first?

I see so much cool art out in the world, and I compare my art to what I see.

How can I be creative when so & so’s work is just so cool looking — mine feels so blah to me in comparison?

These thoughts can make me resist even trying to create.

I also know that these are just thoughts my mind is making up. I know that my thoughts can take over if I let them.

me&sand-magicCreativity takes so many forms – it is not just visual art. It is part of how we live our lives and we all have our unique styles.

My mermaid musings are infused with all kinds of different adventures – all creative adventures in their own way.

I guess my point is – if one wants to feel & be creative, it is important to show up for life – all of it. Life includes creative messes and creative masterpieces. It includes times where you may create a lot and some times where creating seems to fall away.


Creative resistance shows up every time I craft a blog post. What is my point for putting these musings out in the world, I think?

I want to share my creative adventures in all of their forms – the raw & messy and the masterpieces – even when I’m feeling resistance. And I want to inspire you, dear reader, to embrace your creative life in all its forms, too.

I’m a life long paper junkie and playing on paper, for me, is an important part of my creative life. And if I don’t show up to this on a regular basis, then this form of creating becomes even that much more difficult – and I feel like I’m not creative.

This year I am striving to show up for my playing on paper creating more regularly. (If you’ve been reading my musings for awhile you probably realize this isn’t the first time I’ve expressed this…and it probably won’t be the last:) And I think sharing my musings helps me to show up!

I love this “playing on paper” form of self-expression. It is so accessible for my lifestyle, and it allows me to create/play/get messy/try new techniques and have fun. In the end I usually like what turns up. And even when I don’t relish the result, I love the process – the process of being in my life.


What kind of creative messes and masterpieces do you enjoy creating?




P.S. If my mermaid musings are inspiring for you, I’d love to have you join my community of intrepid mermaids who receive my monthly mermaid tales. You can sign-up here. I hope to meet you there:)

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Filed under Art & Design, Book Binding, Creativity, Everyday Adventure, Inspiration, Journaling, Joy, Playing

Sand Dunes Magic


Sand Dunes National Park is less than two hours from home, and going there is kind of like going to a giant sandbox.

My hubby & I snuck off for a quick overnight to the park for Valentine’s Day last weekend.


There was magic in the shadows


…and the hidden life that we saw signs of


…and nature’s drip castles


and patterns.

My hubby caused a bit of a slab sand-alanche…which was, ummm…interesting… after he stopped sliding with the sand slab and was not buried beneath the sand.


Can you see where the frozen sand slab broke off, and the debris at the bottom, and my tracks going out?

Valentine’s day ended with a beautiful sunset and then a sky full of stars.DunesSunset

All and all it was a magical everyday adventure…


Where does magic appear in your everyday?



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Filed under Everyday Adventure, Joy, Lettering, Nature

at the River’s Edge — a new creative experiment


I live just blocks away from the Arkansas River, and I love to visit the river’s edge.

I love to observe the ebb and flow of the river as it changes with the season.

I try to make it my practice to visit the river’s edge daily.

to watch

to listen

to be

The water tumbles over the rocks of the play holes* in town creating a lovely & soothing music.
At least at this time of year when the river is low. If we receive good snow fall in the nearby mountains the sound of the river can become a bit deafening during spring run-off.

Here is a short song for your listening (& watching) pleasure. I recorded this on a grey January day when it was flurrying snow. You can hear the ebb in the water’s sound as I move the camera upstream. I know it is not the same as actually standing at the river’s edge, but I hope it will be a relaxing experience, and give you a sense of the life of the river.

*play holes — a term for a white water rapid created (or modified) by man to make them ideal for kayakers and other boaters. Swimmers like them, too:)

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed a relaxing listen.





P.S. I am a total novice at making any kind of video…so this almost feels a bit silly, but I promised myself I would try this creative experiment, and we will see where it might lead. I’d love to hear if you enjoyed it and any feedback you might have.

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Filed under Arkansas River, Creativity, Inspiration, Joy, My Salida Backyard, Nature

Everyone Deserves a Snow Day

EveryoneDeservesSnowDay2This little icon (left) that I found on the Copper Mountain Resort ski map caught my eye as soon as I arrived for my annual getaway to the SIA OnSnow Demo with my hubby.  Everyone Deserves a Snow Day set the stage for how I wanted to be with my few days. They are my snow days to play as I wish while my hubby works.

Last year during the demo days I was sick and a bit miserable, but still happy to be there.

This year I was super excited to be healthy and very happy to be there.

At first it is always a bit of a challenge for me to be on a solo adventure (meaning there was a big mountain calling to be explored and I was on my own to explore it). But I woke the first morning to big fat flakes falling from the sky. This motivated me to say yes to the first adventure I had been thinking about. I quickly dress in the grey early morning light, put the climbing skins on my skis, and began the hike up the designated ski trail before the lifts started up for the day. Besides a snowcat or two, all was quiet except the sound of my breath. Surrounded by trees and snow, the steadily falling snowflakes made for a peaceful beginning to the day.


The rest of my mountain adventures, over the next day and a half, were lift served…and after a little hesitation to venture up to the blustery summit above tree line on my own, my adventure unfolded beautifully.


My pretty skis and I took many a lift ride while exploring the resort terrain making turns.


I loved being one of the first skiers to venture down Union Peak after another few inches of snow.


Over on the Copper Bowl side of the resort I watched two patrollers (those dots in the red circles) make their way down this shoot on Tucker Mountain – after listening to the loud boom of the explosives they detonated for avalanche control.


I even found some time to relax in the lodge with a cup of tea as the day waned, and cut and pasted into my journal. I love how the ski area map provided the theme for my days – and some fun graphics for my journal!


And I marveled over the beauty of it all!

Everyone Deserves a Snow Day! When can you plan your Snow Day – no matter where you live :), and what will you do? I’d love to hear about your adventure.



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Filed under Everyday Adventure, Inspiration, Journaling

Pieces & Process & Practice [art journaling]


This is a spread I did this past weekend — my fun Friday evening playing with different media in my studio. [blender pen image transfer, india & acrylic ink, collage, and marker]

I’m not really satisfied with the spread, by comparison to other cool mixed media pieces I come across in my web browsing, but these pages turned out kind-of fun in a surprising sort-of way and I had fun that evening.

It is true that it is really about the process and not the piece.

My big issue with myself is I just don’t make enough time to play in my journal. And when I sit down to play I’m often paralyzed at where to start. There are so many fun techniques to try, and they all become like the next shiny object to me. And, I’ll admit, I’d like to feel some satisfaction with the pieces I create, too.


Sketching, which is something I really want to improve on, is one of the most difficult for me. I’m honestly not even sure I enjoy the process because it feels so hard. And the satisfaction (with the pieces) is generally not very high either.

Again – I think if I carved out more time to just sketch, the process would become easier and the pieces more satisfying.



These pages were inspired by pedaling in Colorado’s fall colors. Besides the black marker that I doodled the wheels with, these pages were created using Derwent Inktense pencils. I loved process of coloring and then using my paintbrush to bring the pencil to life.


I’ve been wanting to share more art journaling (in addition to my Daily Musings Journal pages — which you can see here and here), but have not because I really have not created many new pages in the past several months. My comparison gremlin has also been tapping me on the shoulder about how much other people create and how little I create, and this makes anxious about the sharing process, too.

But here I am – showing up to share anyway – even if some of my more recent pages date back to autumn color and it’s the end of January.


I created this piece (above) around the recent full wolf moon (although I think I added the wolf image after the moon was well into the waning part of its cycle.) The full wolf moon asked “What are you hungry for?” And I’m declaring here that I’m hungry to create more – to develop a more consistent practice of playing on paper/ in my journal, no matter what the pieces look like.

I don’t know if this [public] declaration will help – I’ll keep you posted.

What are you hungry for? I’d love to here from you.



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Filed under Art & Design, Book Binding, Inspiration, Journaling