Category Archives: Joy

Creating a Visual with Your Writing


Handwriting can create unexpected visual surprise.

Whether you like your handwriting or not – it really can create a nice visual if you write in a shape, use different colors, and maybe even add some other doodles.

As part of today’s adventure I’ve created a short video (about 2 1/2 minutes) for you to see how I created a visual piece with my handwriting. I’ve sped up the actual writing, but both squares I created took me about 9 minutes total.

Disclaimer: I’m super new at making videos, so I was a bit nervous as I was writing while recording. I had spent a few minutes gathering my thoughts and what I wanted to write, but I did not spend much more time considering how I would execute this – the squares were not at all planned out. That is how I generally work in my musings journal, and when I was done with these squares I felt a little disappointed with the result. This sometimes happens, too. What I do love about these squares is that I have begun to capture writings I want to remember; And they will also always remind me of starting my Musings Adventure Journal, making the video and this May Mini Musings Adventure! I’m so glad you’re here!

Here are a few more examples, from my Daily Musings Journal earlier this year. The two with the drawings have stream of consciousness journal writing in them.


I hope this will help you get started on your adventure using your own writing – even if you don’t particularly care for it. Our handwriting is part of who we are, and if you use it a little differently than you normally do, you just might find you like the results 🙂 I hope so!

I’ll be back tomorrow with more on writing – creating letters with a bit more intention.

stickers-journalBefore I go I want to mention the giveaways that I’ve eluded to. Each day between now and Thursday I’ll be giving away the stickers that come with the Musings Adventure Journal (one sheet of each — see image to the left). To be eligible just leave a comment on the daily post. For today’s entry please share how your creating visuals with your writing went for you 🙂 You can also enter (or for an extra entry) by sharing your visual writing square on Instagram using the hashtag #musings adventure. Be sure to reference creating visuals with writing in your description, too. I’d love to see what you create! [Winners for each day will be chosen on Saturday May 28.]

Thank you again for participating in the May Mini Musings Adventure! Looking forward to meeting you back here tomorrow.





P.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!

And if you haven’t signed up for the May Mini Musings Adventure and you want to play along – check out the deets here.


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

Happy Spring!


Where I live in the Rocky Mountains spring does not arrive with an abundance of color. The signs of spring are much more subtle here at 7,000 feet – like the tiny dot of brilliant gold from the one lonely crocus in my front yard.

Although some yards have many colorful crocuses, the real signs of spring are more like

warm big blue days on the slopes where the snow is till abundant (fortunately)…


temperatures warm enough to stop and create ephemeral art while out on a hike…


beautiful ice crystal patterns along Cottonwood…


the sun not dipping behind the 14,000 + ft peaks until nearly 7:30 pm…


And if we’re lucky a spring blizzard that dumps a few more feet of snow in the mountains before the real melting begins…

A strong spring run-off is vitally important to feed the rivers and farmlands and to help to keep the dust at bay (at least for a little while).
And it is then that the leaves will begin to bud and the flowers will begin to unfurl their color, in earnest, in my Rocky Mountain valley.

How does spring unfurl where you live? I’d love to hear about it!

Wishing you the happiest of springs!





P.S. Unfurl is the word that I will be using as I create the color-in play sheet for the April Mermaid Tales ezine. I’d love to have you join me there. Click here to learn more and sign-up.

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Filed under Creativity, Everyday Adventure, Friends, Joy, My Salida Backyard, Nature, Playing, Playing at Altitude

Believe in Your Big Vision


…even when you’re not sure

exactly what it looks like!

When I sat down to play in my January Journey Within journal this past weekend, this just flowed out of my brush.

I just began the Right Brain Business Plan Facilitated ECourse, and this past week we were to begin working on our big vision.


I had created a big vision accordion piece last spring (above),
and felt stuck at the prospect of creating a new big vision.


Then I did the visualization exercise for the class hoping to get ‘unstuck’. These journaling musings (left)  came easily, especially the doodles, after listening to Jen’s visualization.

I decided I’m not quite done with my vision board from last year, but there was something more I needed to keep me motivated to follow through in this class. Because I want and need to complete more of the very useful, and creative, business exercises in order to move forward with my mountain mermaid studios vision – even if I don’t know exactly what it looks like:)

I also decided to let myself be OK with not really knowing exactly what my big vision looks like. I know I’ve got a lot of moving parts that I feel committed to:

I also have a bunch of other projects in my heart that I hope to bring to life one day.

And in the mean time there is LIFE – the here and now to be enjoyed…including this process of creating my big vision.
So super important to remember this part – that this moment is all we really have.

PossibilitiesVisionPackage_smTo keep me organized in a visual and fun way I created a “collage package” – that can house the different course exercises I’ll work on, and remind me that life is packed with possibilities for





even if I don’t know exactly what it all looks like!

And also remind me that creating, playing and thriving in the process is what life is really all about.

So I continue on this journey as an entrepreneur, remembering to take my days to play along the way. And make the process of creating my big vision as joy-filled and playful as possible, too.

How about you? Do you know what your big vision looks like? Can you relax into not knowing exactly and joy the process of creating anyway?

I’d love to hear about your journey!




P.S. If you like the look of the musings page I shared above, join my mountain mermaid community and you’ll receive a PDF of this musings play sheet to do your own big vision musing…or whatever musing you feel inspired to:)

P.S.S. We have a winner of the 2016 Daily Musings Journal: Bernice. Thank you to each of you that stopped by and liked my new mountain mermaid studios facebook page. I hope it will continue to inspire you!


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Filed under Art & Design, Creative Play, Creativity, Entrepreneurship, Inspiration, Journaling, Joy, Lettering, Playing

Confessions of a Powder Hound


Some moments over the weeks between Christmas and New Year, that included multiple powder days, I thought of my plans for visioning for 2016.

An article in the January 2016 issue of National Geographic — titled “This is Your Brain on Nature” talks about how nature nurtures us and relieves stress.

I know this to be true for me, and spending timing in nature is something I must do. And so I let those planning thoughts go…to be in nature, in the moment.

PowderTrees_smPart of the reason many of us who live in the Rocky Mountains are here is because of the natural beauty that surrounds us. And skiers, like me, love (and really must) take advantage of the snow when it falls in abundance the way it did around the holidays.

I wish I’d kept track of the exact inches that fell during those weeks between Christmas and the New Year, but I forgot in the moment when the snow report said 11″ and we were out the door and headed up to the mountain.

I couldn’t help myself. And I really didn’t need to. Besides my shoulds (i.e. my plans for visioning), I did not have any specific obligations that I skipped out on.

Believe me there have been other times in my life when I had to be at work, I had other obligations, or I didn’t live close enough to take advantage…

and this is why I am grateful to work for myself amongst the beauty that surrounds me.


The National Geographic article also notes that “virtual nature is soothing too.”

I hope you enjoy my images of playing in the snow, but more than that I hope that you find your own way to get out and enjoy nature.


whether it is in a wild back country setting (me and my hubby in an area called the humps)


or in a park near your home (me on a trail along the river that I walked to from my house – and as a side note this is a new trail that our community developed to allow fly fishing access to the handicapped)

So now we’re coming up on mid-January. And my visioning (which always includes nature and space for taking advantage of powder) for 2016 is coming together in bite-sized pieces. I realize that is really my way of working…so I’m learning not to resist. It make the process much easier and more fun.

So how about you?

How is your vision for 2016 coming along? Be sure to include time outside in nature…it’s good for you, and it’s FUN, too 🙂




P.S. Just to be accountable I think I’ll include a bit about my near term visions. They include a few giveaways — of the printable edition of the 2016 Daily Musings Journal and a few quarterly spots in The Journey Within – A Year of Handmade Journals. I hope you’ll stay tuned!!



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Filed under Joy, Outdoor Adventure, Playing, Playing at Altitude

Not believe in Santa Claus!


You might as well not believe in Fairies!

These are two of my favorite lines that are part of what has summed up Christmas for me since I was a little girl.


Above is the image of a page in a booklet of Christmas Stories we had in my home growing up. I don’t remember reading any of the other stories but this one. And I still believe in Santa Claus. If you have not read this editorial that was written in 1897 in response to a letter from an 8 year old little girl I hope it will bring  joy to your Christmas – no matter what your beliefs. Click on the image above to make it larger, or click here to go to a more recent article posted about this.


Although I don’t have any children I still love to bring a little of this Christmas spirit into my home each year.


I am fortunate to still have the stocking my mom made for me as a wee one. I love to display it along with some of the other Christmas decorations I have from growing up. They remind me of her love and the spirit of love that is in all of us.



I made a stocking for my hubby when we first met, too. Although we don’t always fill these with gifts, they are hung with the spirit of love.

I also love to keep up my mom’s tradition of hanging the clothespin calendar – which she created so little girls could always figure out how many days until Christmas by counting the clothespins.


Some years we get a Christmas tree and some years we keep it simple, but I always embrace the Christmas spirit with these Christmas decorations that remind me of the love and tradition my mom created for me as a child.

No matter where you live and what your beliefs, in the spirit of the Santa I believe in I am wishing you love and beauty and joy this Christmas season.




Filed under Inspiration, Joy, Spirituality