Join Me for a Musings Adventure?


Hello Friends!

I have been a stranger here…for quite a long time. After my summer time travels I did not find the energy or inspiration to blog right away. And now…it’s almost October.

Many things are brewing along my quest to share creative inspiration.
I believe I will blog again, and for now I must continue my break.

But I didn’t want to let fans
of the
Daily Musings Journal
be without information on the 2017 edition.

It is coming…and to celebrate I’m hosting a Doodle Days Musings Adventure in October.

Click here for all the details and to sign-up.



Details and purchasing information for the 2017Daily Musings Journal can be found at

The shopping cart will be open on Saturday, October 1. And for Musings Adventure participants there will be a wee special to kick-off the doodle fun.

I hope to see you along the adventure!!



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Filed under Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Entrepreneurship, Inspiration, Journaling, Musings Adventure

The Angel & the Grinch



Today is the summer solstice – the first official day of summer.

After a cooler May, I’d say summer is here; most of June so far has been hot-hot-hot and dry. I know this not only from feeling the temperatures, but from watching the mountains change.

I love how the Angel of Shavano and her partner the Grinch illustrate this on Mt Shavano, one of the 14,000 + ft peaks in the Sawatch range. I’ve drawn a ragged line around these snow features in the top image (from June 8 when they were about at their prime), so hopefully you can see how the snow has changed them in the past few weeks.


Mt Shavano, May 30 2016

Everyday I see her from a bit different perspective as I go about my day in the valley where I live. On May 30 my husband and I took a hike to “the Crater” in the Arkansas Hills. It was a stormy cool day and the snow had just barely begun to melt.

Mt Shavano June 8, 2016

Mt Shavano June 8, 2016

Here they are on June 8 during an early morning jaunt on the close-in trails just above town – the grinch is peering into the angel’s armpit with his grinchy grin.


Mt Shavano June 14, 2016

On June 14, from Franz Lake just outside of town, I noticed that the angel’s one arm had become detached…and the grinch’s mouth was becoming part of his eye.

Mt Shavano June 15, 2016

Mt Shavano June 15, 2016

The next day, from up on a mesa outside of town that arm was even more melted.

[You can click on any of the double images above for a larger view of the images.]

Mt Shavano June 20, 2016

Mt Shavano June 20, 2016

and today…on the solstice both the angel and the grinch are really no longer recognizable. They have melted into the mountain for the summer.

And time continues to march on.

12Apr2012AngelAlthough I have not kept exact records of the comings and goings of the angel & the grinch, each season I love to watch them come and go. The angel makes appearances in the winter only to put on her winter blanket again. During one of our worst drought years she was almost gone by the end of April (image to the left is from April 2012).

Nature is a wonderful storyteller for what is happening in our world – whether it is watching the snow accumulate and melt from the mountains, the tides of the ocean ebb & flow, or just watching the light in the day change as the season changes.

What are the cycles in nature you enjoy watching? Or if you haven’t done so in the past, what might you watch to help you feel the passage of time?

I’d love to hear how nature tells you stories.




ExploreColored_smP.S. I’ll be taking a little storytelling break over the summer as I go on some exploring adventures with my husband. Check out my illustration to the right to see some of the places I’ll be visiting!

If you want to illustrate some of your explorations I invite you to join my mermaid community and get your musings adventure ebook! You’ll also receive my monthly mermaid tales, and in July while I’m away I’ll be sharing a few of my favorite coloring play sheets again – including the one on the right. Click here to check out all of the details and sign-up.

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Filed under My Salida Backyard, Nature, Outdoor Adventure

Continuing Along My (Musings) Adventure


Life is deliciously full, and last week felt especially busy as I was sharing musings adventure inspiration each day here on the blog in celebration of the launch of the Musings Adventure Journal. As I think I shared on one of the posts – although I knew what I wanted to post about each day I did not have any of my posts created in advance. It made for a more hectic, less relaxed, week than I would have liked so I was happy for the long holiday weekend here in the U.S. after I wrapped up.

Does this ever happen to you in any areas of your life – you know how you want things to unfold, but all of the making is on the fly rather than having things prepared in advance?

Whew! Sometimes you just have to go with this flow. And I am pleased with how it all worked out; and the nice feedback I received from a few of the peeps on adventure really warmed my heart.

But next time (and there will be a next time – I promise)…I will hope for a bit more advanced preparation – and ease.

Although the May Mini Musings Adventure is officially over, your own musings adventure need not be.

You can continue, start or start again – any time.

BeginWk29May_smI had fun musing about my adventures over the long weekend. It’s always fun when a Monday includes an image of a view from a fun hike!!

Tuesday includes a lesson from my weekly yoga class.

And Wednesday some doodles about my day’s happenings (adventures:) appeared.



Now that I have two similar journals – the Daily Musings Journal that moves through the year with dated week spreads, and the Musings Adventure Journal where I have blank week spreads where I can start, stop & start again…

How will my musings adventure unfold?

This is the question I am now asking myself.

I really love the Daily Musings Journal for how it allows me to sense the passage of time and remember being in those moments in time. Even if I don’t get to muse every day I always go back and add something for the day – or move across the pages with something that allows me to remember why the week passed without my musing (this is how last week unfolded, and you can see this in Daily Musings Journal spread image at the top of the post).

Right now my new Musings Adventure Journal seems to have become a vessel to create messages for myself. They don’t need to be on a time frame, just when the messages arrive.

SmallSteps_smTo the right is a musing I created the other night after a conversation with Chris Zydel on Wednesday, one my mentors and the creative mama in the Creative Heart Expressive Arts Teacher Training I’m part of this year. This is a message I always need reminding of along my entrepreneurial journey.

I don’t know where this musings adventure will lead…but I am still loving these little squares as part of my creative practice.

And not knowing, the Unknown, that is really at the heart of adventure.

CompassionThe unknown is a place I’d like to be more relaxed with – lean into and embrace with curiosity and wonder.

For life is always an adventure into the unknown.

When I try to hold on to control too tightly this crazy adventure of life – she rebels.

My compassion message reminds me of this as I am learning to lean into the unknown of body’s evolution…in recent years it has been constantly changing in ways I did not allow myself to believe or understand would happen.

Hmmm…I feel a new message beginning to percolate… maybe it will arrive on the page soon!

I also share my musings on Instagram, too, and I’d love to meet you there. You can find me at @lisa_deyoung, and my doodles are also posted with the hashtag #musingsadventures.

What small steps are you taking into the unknown? How do you feel about this wild unknown?

I always love to hear from you!






P.S. To learn more about the Musings Adventure Journal, feel free to hop on over here to check out all the details and get yours today!

And if you feel inspired to share the musings adventure love, I’d so appreciate it:



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Filed under Art & Design, Creative Play, Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Journaling, Lettering, mixed media, Musings Adventure

Wrappin’ It Up & Winners!


To wrap up the week I wanted to share my first finished spread in my Musings Adventure Journal. As my musings were specifically for the Mini Musings Adventure I collaged the header I made for the adventure’s print out to the top of the pages, along with some other painted paper scraps. The bottom right corner is a drawing from a tarot card I pulled at the beginning of the week for full moon guidance.

7-pentacles_smThe card is from The Wild Unknown deck which is the only tarot deck I own (so far:). I love the black and white illustrations, with bits of color on some cards, and I have made drawings from the cards in my musings journals periodically since I got the deck early in 2015. When I do this it sort of seals the guidance the card has for me, and it has helped my drawing skills, too! I don’t have the Wild Unknown guide book so I love Carrie Mallon’s blog post series of her interpretations on the deck.

One of the things Carrie’s interpretation of the seven of Pentacles mentioned was Get Reorganized.  Ha, I thought – the full moon has me pegged as I moved into the Mini Musings Adventure. Although I spent time thinking about what I wanted to include for my posts I did not feel organized around getting the posts created. It has been a busy week for this little mermaid.

The real point, though, of sharing my musings adventure spread is to share with you some of the ways I like to finish out my spreads. Some weeks it is bare bones, but other weeks I’m super inspired to fill up the whole page/spread. All my doodles help remind me of the time I was creating and I adore looking back on them.

Oh yes and I meant to mention I’ve been adding dates to the outside of my Musings Adventure Journal squares so I’m easily reminded of when I created them. You can see that really well on the top image in Messages for You and Me. I’m loving the flexibility of the undated squares so far! I look forward to trying some different series of doodles – that I can begin, and begin again whenever I want!

I’d like leave you with a list of other ideas you might consider for your musings:

  • Write a haiku
  • Create a 30 second illustration (inspired by Lynda Barry’s book Syllabus – this book is fascinating!)
  • Make a blind contour drawing
  • Track how your garden grows
  • Doodle across squares
  • mother–daughter moments
  • track sensations (some call it pain) if you’re on a healing journey
  • what did I put in my mouth?
  • gratitudes
  • quotes
  • [fill in your idea]

And the winners are…

Creating a Visual with Your Writing (Sticker Pages) — Dianne
Love Your Letters (Sticker Pages) — Debra
Personal Icons, Shapes & Lines (Sticker Pages) — Mtb Chick (aka Cath:)
Mini Mandala Making & a Tangled Visit (Sticker Pages) – Elaine
Messages for You & Me (Musings Adventure Journal) – Deanna

If you lovelies will email me your mailing address to lisa (at) mountainmermaidstudios (dot) com I’ll mail your prizes out! Thank you so much for your sharing, and your wonderful comments! Keep on playing along your musings adventure!

And I hope all of you have enjoyed the adventure, will keep up the doodle fun and adore looking back on your musings adventure. I have appreciated the wonderful feedback I have received and the musings that have been shared. And I always love to hear from you!







P.S.S. If you haven’t ordered your Musings Adventure Journal yet, feel free to hop on over here to check out all the details and get yours today!




Filed under Creative Play, Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Gardening, Journaling, Lettering, Mini Musings Adventure 5-2016, Musings Adventure, Nature

Messages for You & Me


I love playing with collage, and the messages I find usually tell me something I need in the moment.

The message above is for you & me! We deserve the moon and the stars!

found-inspirations-in-progress_smI usually start my collages by playing with words on a square, and once I find the message that resonates I move them off the square so I can add some background – often doodles and sometimes other collage images (see above:).

It’s funny that I should be writing about collage this week as one of my favorite creatives, Jamie Ridler, started a conversation about collage over on her Jamie Ridler Studios FB page and also on one of her Behind the Scenes videos.

collage-stuff_sm The collage words and small images I have been saving for my found messages is currently a bit out of control and Jamie asked how people organize their collage images (seems she has a similar out of control dilemma).

Fortunately I also keep a small envelope clipped into my musings journal with just a handful of words/images…so for now I’ve let the out of control envelopes bulge. [I also have an out of control box that has bigger images in it, too. I need to think about what I want to do about all this. I may be ready to purge and begin again…we’ll see 🙂 ]

collage-clippings-titlePg_smBut I do love my little system for my musings squares.

I thought you might, too, so I created a template for you to create your own collage clippings envelope. Click here to download the printable PDF that you can cut and fold into an envelope as pictured at right. I don’t glue my envelop together so it is easy to open and access my clippings, but you can easily do that.


sticky-filing_smIf I’m running short on time but want to remember my message, instead of letting it get mixed up with other collage clippings, I’ll fold the words into a sticky note before stashing them in my collage clippings envelope.



Heart made with security envelope pattern — I love using security envelopes for collage, and save all the ones with great patterns.




Another message I found for you yesterday beautiful dreamer!






I also love to use photos and memorabilia for my musings collages. Here are some examples below:




Here’s a message I found awhile back that I think is meant for you, too.



I hope this post sparks ideas for you to create your own found messages collage system. Have some fun creating and playing with collage on your musings adventure.

And don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know how it goes. Today’s giveaway is a Musings Adventure Journal. But you need to comment or share on Instagram (tagging me, using the hashtag #musingsadventure & referencing found messages) by the end of today (Friday, May 27) to be eligible. I will be choosing winners tomorrow!

Thank you so much for playing along on this mini musings adventure. I hope you’ve had fun, and will continue on with your musings. I’m thinking I may start holding similar e-adventures a few times a year to ignite the musings adventure spark. What do you think? Please let me know that in the comments, too, if you could!

OK — see you back here tomorrow for one more blast of musings adventure inspiration. Oh yes…and I’ll announce the winners from the week, too.






stickers-journalP.S. Giveaways Update:
Today is the last day to enter the giveaways – on any of the week’s posts. As I mentioned above today you’re commenting for a chance to win a Musings Adventure Journal.
To be eligible just leave a comment on the daily post. For today’s entry please share your found messages inspiration and creations 🙂 You can also enter (or for an extra entry) by sharing your doodling squares on Instagram using the hashtag #musingsadventure – tag me, too, @lisa_deyoung. Be sure to reference musings adventure found messages in your description, too. I’d love to see what you create! [You have until the end of the day to comment on any of the posts and winners for each day will be chosen on Saturday May 28.]


P.S.S. If you haven’t ordered your Musings Adventure Journal yet, feel free to hop on over here to check out all the details and get yours today!





Filed under Creative Play, Creativity, Daily Musings Journal, Inspiration, Journaling, Mini Musings Adventure 5-2016, Musings Adventure