Posts in joy
hanging onto summer

Somehow September is here. Schools are back in session. It’s feeling more and more like fall. BUT, it’s technically still summer. And I want to hold onto summer as long as I can.

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growing inspiration: violas

In my first Growing Inspiration post I wrote about nasturtiums. If there’s a flower I’ve drawn and painted more than the nasturtium, it might be the viola.

They always have a place in my garden.

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A Garden with a Mind of Its Own, Inspiration in Decorah

At Seed Saver’s Exchange’s Heritage Farm there’s a garden beside the barn. A sign in the garden says it “has a mind of its own.”

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words of encouragement (a fun, quick project)

Although I said I’d planned a studio update for winter, I’ve been making small changes this summer. Painting furniture. Switching out my sewing table. Putting up shelves. My colorful bookshelf and sewing table make me happy each time I walk into the room and I love having shelves over my painting table.

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growing inspiration: nasturtiums

About this time of year when the garden is at its height I begin making notes for next year. What I want to grow more of. What I forgot to grow. What I’d like to try. Today I’m sharing the first of a series of posts about some of my favorite plants to grow (and paint). I’d love for you to join in and share some of your favorites, too.

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summer's wild abandon

I wrote that phrase in my journal this week to describe my garden, but I think it’s a good phrase to describe what I want life to be right now.

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soaking it up

I sit in the garden and watch the robins taking turns on the nest in the birch tree. The nest is perched in a crotch of branches high above my patio. It doesn’t look very secure, but I’ve watched it hold tight when its windy. One robin swoops to the branch and the other plunges away. A few minutes later they switch. And switch again.

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The Art of Doing Nothing

“Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”

—Henry James

Ah, summer. Here in Wisconsin summer is well and truly here.

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a bit of this and that, finding inspiration (and joy!) everywhere

I’ve been feeling so inspired lately. My garden is providing me with abundant painting ideas, but more than that, it seems everywhere I look I see beauty and find encouragement from people who are living authentic, creative lives.

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Why Joy?

I talk about JOY a lot. The word is up there in my logo. It write about JOY in my blog posts. I describe my paintings with the word and when you sign up for my newsletter I send you a set of Joy Lists as a thank you. On top of that, I call my newsletter a JOYLetter.

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In the Garden Lately

I’ve been spending as much time as possible in my garden.

The dogs love being outside, too. During the week Jude goes with Matthias to his shop and Charlie stays home with me until I need to leave for my job at the library.

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The Joy of Whirly Birds! (Maple Seeds)

All week long I’ve been painting whirly birds.* That’s what I used to call maple seeds when I was young.

At this time of year when the seeds come helicoptering to the ground it’s hard not to feel a surge of childlike joy. I walk around with my eyes to the ground trying to find the most interesting ones.

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Keep Going

This week I painted bleeding hearts with the paint I mixed last week.

It’s lovely to be working with flowers from the garden again. But it’s also been a bit frustrating trying to get back into a groove of art-making and gardening and all the other stuff that life demands.

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Around Here Lately

I haven’t yet gotten around to painting more tulips. I’ve been a little busy. But also standing firm against overwhelm. I’m determined to take my days slow and to enjoy the spring. Oh how I love this time of year. The relief from winter. Being able to play with flowers and dig in the dirt.

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Carving Out Time for Art

Today I’m taking over the Carve Out Time for Art Instagram account. I’m so honored to have been asked to share my day with that creative community. Carve Out Time for Art was created by Marissa Huber and Heather Kirtland and this is what they have to say about it:

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More Art Supply Love -- Kuretake Watercolors and Some Pens

A few weeks ago I wrote about how much I was enjoying playing with acrylic craft paint and mentioned there were other art supplies I wanted to share. I find it so hard to resist the pull of new art supplies. It’s probably a good thing that there isn’t an art supply store nearby!

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Looking Back and Looking Forward

Today is my birthday. I love birthdays. When I was a child my mom always made them so special. I guess I never let go of the joy of celebrating my day.

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Celebrating The 5th Handmade Joy Exchange

Back in January I opened an invitation to the 5th Handmade Joy Exchange. I hosted the first one in 2012 and three more after that. Each one was such fun. It was great to get to know some new people, to facilitate new friendships and to help spread joy around the world.

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Battling the Winter Blahs

Spring might be on its way (according to meteorologists it’s already here), but it certainly doesn’t feel like it in Wisconsin. Does it feel like spring where you are?

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