Category Archives: mixed media

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

Water is a Precious Resource


The March theme for the Journey Within Art Journaling class I’m participating in (and teaching in later) this year was nature and natural living. For the spread I created above I took inspiration from Cindy Gilstrap of Junque Art’s lesson about taking cues from nature around you.

Of course this is not too hard for me – because I live in the Rocky Mountains surrounded by natural beauty. But in March the mountains are still covered in snow and there is not much color popping up from the ground yet, or budding from the trees.

LowPlayholeImage_500I was thinking about Cindy’s lesson as I was taking one of my daily mid-day pedals along the river…I thought “I want to take inspiration from the water that flows through the valley.”

I stopped to stand by the playhole to soak in the sounds and the site of the river flowing through town. And I snapped this photo to the left.

I didn’t immediately do anything with this, and a little later in the month my hubby and I were hiking up Cottonwood Canyon and I was in awe of the water still flowing there (until late last spring this canyon had always been, for the most part, dry).

CottonwoodIceCrystals_500The patterns in ice crystals that had formed along the now small creek caught my eye. I became intrigued by the thought of playing with the these patterns, and so I took a photo with that in mind.


Some days later I began to play with paint & pencils & stencils & stamps.


RiverPlayholeDetail_500As I was doing this I was thinking about how important water is in our lives – and how precious it is.

This reminded me of a poem I had written and calligraphed many years ago – after returning from travels where potable water was not readily available and there was a severe drought (and wildfires) beginning to take hold in Colorado.


I wrote the poem, in white, in the top left corner of the spread, but did not like how it looked.

Especially after watching Cindy’s lesson videos, I knew this was OK – she had encouraged us to use my intuition and that nothing is a mistake because with mixed media it can always be covered over with more layers.

This is exactly what I did – knowing that it was still part of the spread! I did add the first line of the poem back onto the spread, too.

I’ve written out the text of my short poem below.


water is a precious resource.

drink it to hydrate, or perish.

appreciate it, for everywhere it is not so easily accessible.

bathe in it, warm water soothes your muscles and your soul.

conserve it, otherwise soon you will not have it.

I love living so close to the beautiful Arkansas River.  I really do try to visit the river’s edge each day – if only to pedal along the path through town and back home again.

I feel truly fortunate to live where drinking water is good coming from my kitchen sink, and that without much thought I can stand under warm, soothing water in my shower.

I know I am not perfect about conserving water, but I always try to keep in mind that my easy access to water is a luxury really and I am fortunate to have such ready access to this life sustaining resource. I hope this musing will inspire you to feel the same.

Thank you dear Cindy for providing the inspiration for my journal spread, and this reminder about water – that flowed through me as I created.





P.S. If The Journey Within – A Year of Handmade Journals sounds intriguing, it’s not too late to join in the fun!! Click here to learn more. (full disclosure — this is an affiliate link:)


Here’s a little sneak peak about my new offering – coming later this spring.


The Musings Adventure Journal is a new undated version of the Daily Musings Journal! Stay tuned for more details coming soon – Sign-up here!

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Filed under Book Binding, Creative Play, Creativity, Inspiration, Journaling, mixed media, My Salida Backyard, Nature, Playing

along the winding paths of daily life…



This is the line that emerged at the top of my “Tiny Gallery” piece (from a lesson in The Journey Within)

Yep – I think that it about sums it up 🙂


along the winding paths of daily life she contemplates This and That unendingly

long walks

the beauty of The Moment

What This and That do you contemplate?





P.S. In case you’re wondering The Journey Within is a year long class of creative exploration through art journaling and handmade books hosted by Kiala Givehand. I’ve really enjoyed how this class is helping me show up for my creative practice, and I’m looking forward to being a guest artist teacher later in the year. If you want to find out more click here (or the widget on the right:)

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Filed under Book Binding, Creative Play, Creativity, Journaling, mixed media, Nature, Playing, Self Discovery

My 2016 Musings Adventure Begins


As I wrote last week, my play over the holiday weeks took me outside into a beautiful winter wonderland. This made me feel that my 2016 #musingsadventure got off to a slow start.  Although as I look back at this spread with the last days of December and the first days of this new year, I feel it captures it pretty well.


One thing you may notice is I’ve lettered the word studio quite a few times. I’ve decided, at least to begin the year, that I will play with the lettering of this word, and then capturing the essence of what I’ve done in my studio on those days. I hope that I can use this as a bit of an accountability tool as I work towards sharing more inspiration to create, play & thrive through mountain mermaid studios. And the challenge of spontaneously playing with these letters will give me something to focus on.


I am also noticing that my practice is changing a bit. A friend asked me the other day if I use pencil to start my squares – to help me figure out the layout of each square. And the answer to that is yes – sometimes.


Lately though, I’ve found myself starting with different shades of grey marker, and sometimes a black one. This lets me capture my day as it comes to me and have the spaciousness to return to the square and play with color.

I worked on this past week’s spread earlier today — Saturday went down in colored markers without effort, and then I spent time coloring in the first part of the week. I look forward to playing with more color on the remainder of this spread a bit later.

You can see from my top image (the first week of the year) that some times the coloring gets left behind (I may or may not get back to it). And I am really liking creating little coloring pieces for myself that I can essentially go back to when I want to/have time.

How is your creative journey going as we begin this year? Please share in the comments!




P.S. If you’ve made it this far along in the post I so appreciate you, and you’re in for a treat. I held onto a few copies of the printed edition of the Daily Musings Journal (which is sold out!) and I now have a printable PDF edition available.  And I’m doing a giveaway.

I have just created a Facebook page for mountain mermaid studios (it’s still pretty bear bones and it needs some love (=likes)) so I can spread inspiration to create, play & thrive even further. I’d love for you to join me there.

Like my page and then head back here and let me know you did – you’ll be entered to win a 2016 Daily Musings Journal. Please include where you’re from – peeps from the U.S. are eligible for the printed edition and international peeps can win a copy of the printable PDF edition of the Daily Musings Journal. If you already have a Daily Musings Journal I hope you’ll stop by and like the page anyway. If you let me know here, and you win you can give your journal to a friend so you can be on the #musingsadventure together. I’ll be happy to ship the journal directly to them! Giveaway closes next Friday, January 22 at midnight mountain time.



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

[Journey 2016] Begins Today!


The 2016 Journey Within
– A Year of Handmade Journals
that is 🙂

In 2016 you can make 12 Handmade Art Journals with Kiala Givehand and 18 Teaching Artists – including me, and connect with a community of beautiful creative people!


I’m not teaching until later in the year, but I’m excited for the Journey Within all year long. What a great way to commit to my creative practice (playing on paper:), which is something I really want to do this year.


The first journal Kiala guides us to create is such a simple structure, and yet (as you can see from the first image in the post) it can create such an elegant journal with a spine.


I’m really looking forward to exploring and discovering in community with a group of beautiful creative people. Explore & Discover are our themes to start the year.

This year long course has so much to offer, and my favorite part is the spaciousness that is built into the course. I’ve never been good at daily online challenges and overwhelming amounts of content with a need to work through it in a specific time frame.

Once you enroll…

  • You have the year to play with each monthly module.
  • There will be month themes
  • There will be video guidance and PDFs to make a new journal each month
  • There will be a variety of different teachers, teaching styles and techniques to play with in your journals (or a journal of your choosing)

…so you can pick and choose what works for you. You can even enroll by quarter if you prefer.

Do you want to join us?
I may be a little biased because I’m one of the guest teaching artists, but it feels like this is going to be a really fun creative adventure.

CLICK HERE to learn more and enroll!
[Full disclosure…these links I’m providing are affiliate links]

Happy New Year and sending you lots of love and creative adventures for the year to come!



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Filed under Book Binding, Journaling, Lettering, mixed media