Visiting The Frugal Crafter’s Blog

Inspired by Lindsay at The Frugal Crafter, blue skies and birch paint-along:

Sometimes I overcome painter’s block by taking a walk outdoors,  looking at snapshots from previous outings,  revisit a sketch, or finish a painting that was not sparking properly at first go.  Lately a purse sized portable set has been easy for short sketches and cards.  Today I tried another fun video paint-along/tutorial from The Frugal Crafter. Thank you for posting Lindsay!

My Moxie Babies

My babies are now officially grown.  Both had milestone birthdays this week (18th and 24th) so today’s mini painting is from my Maine Moxie and was critiqued by the younger (who has renamed himself in my phone as “the Moxiest”). It reminds me of my oldest sitting on “mermaid rock” when she was little.


Enjoy the very merry month of May,  celebrate every day,  as we do.

Fun to be Done


Now that I have graduated with my Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences at UT Tyler, there is much more energy to fill up my sketchbooks. For my trip to Maine I am trying out portable painting options and experimenting with ideas from my notebooks.

I am excited to go to Maine,  despite the long drive. I look forward to the reward of seeing my father,  who was so moved with pride and love when he told me that I  am the first in our family to graduate from university, for I know I could not have done it without his example and encouragement.

Crissy’s Front Walk – Iris



The beautiful things Kathy and I see on the way to Ladies’ Bible study. (We are using a series by Nancy Guthrie showing Jesus in the Old Testament.

There are some more sketches (mostly 6×9″) on the sketchbook page.  I have been trying out three new portable boxes of paints- Yaka White Nights, Daniel Smith,  and Prima Confections Tropicals.


Writing a Song

201703 Sleeping Darling

For music theory class In the final week before graduation at UT Tyler,  I completed this songwriting project. If you fall asleep in the first minute,  I succeeded! To get full credit for public performance of the lullaby I wrote,  the instructor asks for at least 5 comments on the YouTube video at .

Praise God for surrounding me with the love and encouragement of family and friends, that will listen to over 2,000 rough drafts of a work-in-progress song until it is finally finished!

Please enjoy the lullaby.

My dog loved it.


Backdoor Garden

Cone flowers and Lupines,  Prima Confections Tropicals, 6×9″ Canson XL 140 lb. Watercolor paper

Trying out some portable paints, sketchbooks, and water brushes for our summer travels, I am attracted to April flowers. My neighbors are probably just wondering why we put off mowing.

Pale Violets in the Leaf Litter,  White Nights watercolors, Bee Creative 8×8″ marker paper, Aquash brush

English Roses Backdoor Garden,  Prima Confections Tropicals watercolors,  Bee Creative 8×8″ marker paper

Which way is up?

I made mannequins for my K-6 art classes  and transformed an abstract painting I did not like before. Now I like it upside down and sideways too. The working title is “Lazy Susan”.

Mannequins edited, resized and assembled from  and inspired  by the excellent positive vs negative space ideas at &

The background was an experimental draft for Iris Beholder.

King of Kings

I have had a period of sickness, and even after it passed it left some weakness behind. This has given me more opportunity to listen to books and consider how to apply the learning. This week the book was Second Samuel of the Bible.


When I am strong I sometimes put too much faith in my own power, but I really have everything by the grace of God. I called my mother, who is weak from muscular dystrophy, to remember humility and to add compassion to my prayers.

I Just Cannot Keep A Sketchbook For Long

I just used up all the pages in another sketchbook. I keep telling my students how important it is to practice. Some of them have such a joy in doing it, they need no reminders. I hope most of the others will catch the spirit of creativity and let it refresh their free time, no matter where life takes them.

4 doodles 14 doodles 24 doodles 34 doodles 4

One of the meditative activities I do is Bible art journaling, except I do it in my devotions notebook instead of my Bible. I use the borders in my Bible for some pictures and notes, but I do not want to cover up any of the actual scriptures. And I doodle a lot to work on ideas that may or may not make it into my paintings. My sketchbook never judges, and my mistakes are valuable learning experiences.

Some of the resources I look to for ideas is the 52 week devotional from Rebekah Jones Bible Art Journaling. She has begun a new challenge, but I am still working on the original one. I also find inspiration from Tiffany Zajas Living Life Joyfully. I find it very meditative to create these illustrations and think about the meaning in the living words.

If you find illustrations help stick key ideas in your head but do not feel artistically adventurous, you may enjoy one of Zondervan’s Beautiful Word Bibles with many illustrated pages to enjoy as you read the scriptures. There are great coloring devotionals like Krista Hamrick’s pages on Etsy which are easy to print to size on vellum and insert to your Bible as overlays or bookmarks. I could also recommend a scripture coloring book like “Be Still Inspirational Adult Coloring Therapy Featuring Psalms.” I have this one!

I also like the CBN Super Book App and the MySword Bible App. They are both easy to read and search for keywords. The Super Book has videos and a daily verse with games to help remember, plus a link to the full chapters.  MySword works offline with several translations from which to choose, plus optional maps, images and commentaries.

New School Pencils

A fresh pack of new school pencils, chalk, a box of unbroken crayons, sketchbooks and notebooks full of clean paper – and a new year has begun. At open house children who had been doodling through the presentation proudly approached me afterwards with their art. Again I am blessed to be an art teacher. It is the best job in the world.


Even so, I enjoyed the last of the vacation with some 2 minute figure drawings and a few 30 minute paint sketches.o

Bonus: A few glimpses at the chiaroscuro  by fellow artists, Don and Rich in Ocala.

The Gallery Wall

I have been using my summer break to work on figures and portraits. A few pictures here are by my friends at art club, gifts because my son was the model today and twenty days ago. I can see the improvement from my recent paintings, top two, and my earlier attempts.

What an artful week we’re having!

Time to Paint


I have time to paint, and time to tutor, and time to paint again. I may have to get up early to read more philosophers for my Ethics class, but obviously that is not something I do when I am tired. When I paint, I don’t get tired until I am done. Anyway, here is a collection of recent paint exercises up to today. Have a colorful life.


Archaeology Artifacts

We had fun making fake artifacts for K-5 adventure camp.  The library books accompany the displays. At our simulated dig the campers charted the objects before taking them to the “research” section to find them in these books. Then they placed them on our “museum” tables with companion pieces. Use the contact page to email a message to me if you would like more ideas on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) integration or unit studies.IMG_20160706_234655

(1) Foam insulation board Persian head carving, painted and sprinkled with sand while wet, (2) DK Eyewitness Books Archeology, (3) some of my beginner pottery (4) hand prints and petrography – not shown


Clay stamps simulating ancient coins and small sculptures

(1a) Hebrew and Greek Psalm 102:18 painted on slab of foam insulation board (1b) paper plate Hebrew/English/Greek decoder, (2) The Crafts and Culture of the Ancient Hebrews, (3) milk cap coins with hot glue designs and gold acrylic paint (4) scrolls – not shown (5) stamps to make ancient coins and small sculptures


(1) foam plate bowl with hot glue cabochons and ‘lions’ with metallic acrylic paints, (2) DK Eyewitness Book Bible Lands, (3) costume jewelry and bean beads, (4) more of my beginner ceramics & two Robby Wood collaborations- thank you Gary Hatcher and Z. Miles Mayfield at UT Tyler, and guest artist Robby Wood, for many clayworking techniques you taught us.


(1) can of tomatoes marked “use by 1811”, (2) cast iron trivet, (3) plated and stamped spoon, (4) DK Smithsonian Visual Timeline Inventions, (5) abacus – not shown


We camp staffers are looking forward to an adventurous week with the campers!

Day 1 – What is archeology? Cave art wall of hands, stick people, and animals

Day 2 – Simulated Dig

Day 3 – Pottery, clay impressions, and coin stamping

Day 4 – Reassemble “pottery” puzzles

Day 5 – Ancient writing on tablets, and scrolls found in pottery (time capsules)


Happy Weekend of the Fourth

My husband started teaching our son how to drive. They drove me places to paint, then practiced meanwhile without any backseat driving.

We also saw an alligator, a turtle, a fountain in a pond, and a sunset before the fireworks. 

I enrolled in my last three classes to complete my Bachelor degree, and groaned a little that they were not all available in one semester. Cried when I found out the costs so far over our heads. Nonetheless, I celebrate graduation as soon as these are done. We courageously charge forward.

We are enjoying our family time and the holiday, as we hope you are too.

This is a larger version of an earlier painting, and being a little excited about visiting Maine soon, I decided to block it out some more.