Getting to the Heart of the Matter


The past year has definitely taken me places I didn’t foresee. It was around this time last year that I decided I needed to step back from my shoppe and reevaluate why I was doing it. With a lot of prayer and introspection, I find myself not only happy with that decision, but I’m stepping back even more! I’m not closing up shoppe yet, it just isn’t my main focus any more.

So, with the extra time on my hands, I’ve been diving in and taking care of my home, myself, and letting go of pipe dreams.

Pipe Dream: noun; an unattainable or fanciful hope or scheme

Case in point…


Isn’t that a lovely scene?

This is the top of my dresser o’ yarn. I had been working on this blanket for a few weeks. I needed to use up some yarn from other projects, and thought I had found the perfect scheme.

The other day, I laid down all the squares I had finished to come up with a plan, and to my horror it was the ugliest blanket I had ever scene! What to do? I had already spent countless hours working on this, looking for inspiration online, plotting, planning, crocheting. I decided to cut my losses and hope that there may be someone else out there that could use a partially finished afghan. Anyway, off to the thrift store it went, along with a few bags of trim, knick knacks, and old books.



The next day, I decided that the granny stripe afghan I had high hopes for was a bust also, so I took it apart, gave away the yarn I didn’t like, and started on something new. So far, I’m in love!

I’ll spare telling you how many schemes and projects I have let go of over the past few months. All I know is, I feel tons better. There are so many things I actually need to be doing, and my projects were holding me back!

From things like this…


Dog walkies.

This has been calling to me for a long time! Fresh air and exercise. Of course I pick a time of year when the weather is getting rough, but oh well.


A photo of my son in Myanmar last month. I stole it from his IG. I just love it!

The most important thing I need to focus on right now are my relationships! I am lucky to say that I have a lot of wonderful people in my life, and I need to put them at the top of my priority list, not just make room for them in my schedule!

I well and truly wish I could do it all, but I’m just not built that way. I will continue to scale down until I can do all that I need to be doing!


Art journaling is still on the top of my “must do” list, but I’m spending more time ‘journaling’ than ‘arting’ as you can see. Lately, I have been finding that I really need to organize my thoughts through journaling. This is also a great way to use up old stickers. The washi tape helps keep my writing straight, such a struggle.


So, I hope you’ll join me on my journey of scaling down, letting go, and simplifying my life. I can’t wait to share on this blog many of the things I did on my old one like gardening, cooking, makings, and what ever else I’m up to at the time. I will still share my art journals of course, I just think it’s time to share more of my life with you. Hope that sounds good!

Have a beautiful day!

Thanks for stopping in,


Redeemed…I Hope!


Once in a while, I get approached to participate in a happy mail exchange.

Happy Mail: letters and packages lovingly assembled, sent through the post, bringing happiness to it’s recipient.

But, it seems I missed the mark on this one recently! The recipient of some of what I thought was “happy mail”, wasn’t very happy at all.

Now you may think, “Oh well, that’s the breaks, you tried.” The problem is, there was rather a large communication gap at play, being from two very separate parts of the world. The disappointment in my friend’s “voice” when she received my mail was very clear. For about 20 minutes I blew it off as “…ooops, oh well!” But, after re-reading her communication, I realized I hadn’t really paid attention, and came up with the following to rectify the situation…


It’s a little art journal, “flippity-bookie” thing. Or, my version of a flip book.

It doesn’t actually flip, but it has some of the features of a flip book. I’ve seen lots of videos on YouTube of how to make them, but I was in a bit of a rush, and didn’t want to try something too new.

I made this journal by cutting down three pieces of painted watercolor paper, folding them in half, and stitch binding them with ribbon, it measure about 6″ x 6″. The cover is an assemblage of scrapbook paper, ephemera, washi tape and some adhesive ribbon. The paper in the background is the decorated envelope I’ll be sending it in.


I got out my art journal decorating tote and went to town. I didn’t worry about color coordination, I just wanted it to look fun!

img_5230 img_5233

Flip books seem to have lots of interactive pockets and things, so I added a few with decorated tags to go with.


Lots of vintage goodness…and color.


img_5227I decided to do a double pocket thing here, I just wanted to try something new.

img_5229So, there you have it. Lots of doilies, postage stamps, and color. I really hope she likes it!

This experience taught me a few lessons:

#1. Slow down and pay attention to expectations

#2. It’s good for the soul to take the time to make amends when possible

#3. These junkity-junk-flippity-books are super fun to make!

In the end, I wanted to share about this journal, but I couldn’t bring myself to sharing and give you the impression it was just one of my fun little projects. I wanted to let you know that even though my original effort was a disappointment, I was able to make something that I’m quite proud of. Also, I was hoping to inspire you to make one of these yourself, they are awesome stash busters!

I may try my hand at making an honest-to-goodness flip book some time soon. If I do, I’ll be sure to post about it.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping in,

Have a great week,


Gratitude Collage Journal “flip through”

A couple of weeks ago I announced on IG and FB, that I would be uploading a “flip through” video of my August gratitude journal, onto my YouTube channel. Then, I realized that it would be much simpler to take some photos and share them here, and I’m all about what’s easier these days! So, here goes…


Days 19 & 20

The usual suspects: playing card, postage stamps, various store bought ephemera bits, and washi tape. I try to tie my page spreads together in some way, with this one I thought the horses did the trick.


Days 21 & 22

A vintage summer theme here. On the page to the right, I used a technique I’ve been having a lot of fun with lately. I cut images from the same background paper then re-apply them randomly to the page. The three round pieces outlined with pencil were re-applied, it seems to give the page more depth.


Days 23 & 24

This is mostly a play with color. Some days I don’t get as much done, but I’m always grateful for evenings spent with my honey!


Days 25 & 26

One of my favorite things to do in my list journals is to find alternative ways to date them, I just used a circle stamp for the 26th. Also, I tried mirroring the grey with polka dots in the sticker over on the left, along with the flowers for a more cohesive look.


Days 27 & 28

Some fun memories of our visit to see my daughter and her family. I took loads of photos, but I prefer to use those in my Midori gratitude journal.

I was lucky to find a postage stamp with 28 cents postage on it for the date, and it added a nice pop of color!


Days 29 & 30

Nearing the end of my little journal. As you can see, I kind of threw these pages together. Monday, I was fighting a cold, by Tuesday it had won.


Day 31

And the end of this journal. A wonderful keepsake, but not necessarily something I want to do every month, just here and there throughout the year. I may try one of these quarterly, just to hit the highlights next time, that will be after the Holidays…

I can’t wait to start this years Holiday journal! Those are my all time favorites to make!

But until then, I may have to pull out some of my old Holiday journals to share on this blog since they all got lost on “ye olde blog”. Just to get some creative inspiration going! Sounds like fun!

Thanks once again for the visit,

See you soon,


Shoppe News


As you probably know by now, I have fallen completely in love with journaling in Midori style inserts. I started off buying as many styles of the original inserts as I could, but because of cost overruns on my budget, I decided to make my own.


Along with the fabric “Dori” notebooks. This is the original version of the ones I put together. Single sided scrapbook paper with graph paper printed on one side. I still really like these, but too much graph paper started working on my creativity. So, I came up with this…


Scrapbook paper and map.


Graph paper and painted page.


Scrapbook paper and painted page.

img_5130 Scrapbook paper and book page.

I usually try to work with a product before I put it into my shoppe, but I just got too excited about these and jumped the gun!

Also, I wanted to make these as close to my ring bound journals as I could. There are a lot of awesome journal inserts out there, and I thought it would be a good idea to give mine their own signature style.


I picked out some pretty yummy scrapbook paper for the covers.

Also, I have opened my shoppe to international sales now that I am on board with Etsy’s new shipping procedure.

Next time you hear from me, I will be sharing some photos of my August Gratitude journal. Finishing up old projects has really given me the boost I needed to get back on the blogging train.

Once again, thank you for the visit,

See you soon,




Just popping in to let you know that I am having a 20% Off Sale in my shoppe! I’m itchin’ to make some new art journals, and I’m running out of room!


New list journals went in last month…


…along with some art journals.


I decided to change up how I do paperclips. A 4-pack of Tassel Clips seemed a bit much, so I’m switching to a 2-pack. I also do combo 2-packs and 4-packs now.

(I hope that made sense)


These are my new “business cards”. They have all of my social media links on them, I made them before starting my YouTube channel, that will have to wait till these are gone.

So, that’s the latest and the greatest.

If you want to save 20% in my shoppe until Monday the 6th, use the coupon code RBLABORDAY20 at check out!

Thanks for stopping by,

Talk to you soon,