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On Defining Oneself

Sweet baby seedlings.

This past week was a rough one. I struggled with classes, getting minimal sleep and feeling behind on everything - deriding myself for not starting my projects earlier, for not being able to manage getting only four or three or two hours of sleep a night, and for the certainty that the grades I'll receive from this week's assignments will bring my overall grades down and ultimately will most likely affect my GPA.

Yet there is a lesson here. I must remind myself that I tried hard. I pushed myself and I did the best with the time I had, and because of elements beyond my control, I was not responsible for all of the reasons I was behind. My eyes were suddenly opened this week to the fact that I think my grades define me. The idea of getting a low grade on an assignment, however large or small, makes me feel inadequate and unintelligent, incapable and lazy. I think too much about how teachers will see me when I do not do well in their classes; I in a strange and silly way believe that they will only like me if my grades are high. (Won't they like me for who I am as a person?)

What I need to learn is this: my character does not depend upon quantifiable "proof" of who I am. I am a hard worker. I am compassionate towards others. I am creative and kind and smart. I am a good person, and my grades in no way define me. (Also, it's ridiculous to ask my mind and body to function on just a few hours of sleep a night!)

In what ways do you define yourself? Are you gentle with yourself, or are you setting yourself up to impossible standards, like me? Be assured that you are, no matter what, a beautiful, unique, incredible soul and who is so, so loved. You are so very important to this world, as perfectly imperfect as you are!

This was taken two weeks ago - now the daffodils are in full bloom!

Other interesting things this week:
  • Spring has officially arrived! How are you celebrating?
  • iHanna wrote a really helpful how-to on altered books; I am hoping my next visit to the thrift store will result in my finding a perfect-for-me book to play in!
  • This is a fantastic post about the rules of art journaling that you absolutely must read. (It's by the lovely Daisy Yellow, who will be teaching at 21 SECRETS with me!)
  • I taught myself how to do a coptic binding stitch with this video. It's much easier than I thought it would be!
  • I've been adding to my Flickr favorites for years, saving all those art journal pages that inspire me and/or show a new technique I'd like to try. Check the photos out here!
  • 21 SECRETS opens on Friday! Woo! Sign up now!

The Promise of Spring


My very favorite season of all is Spring. I love the way it arrives unhurriedly - the world slowly begins to smell of earth, the chirping of birds grows ever more and more present, the sun lingers ever longer in the sky and, best of all, warm weather stays, inviting exploration of the changing landscape.

Yesterday was absolutely beautiful. I walked, seeing how buds are so close to bursting - the anticipation absolutely thrills me! Of the many things that inspire me, Spring is the one that I love best.

But, though I treasure this moment, I long for May, when I will be spending a whole month in Germany with the Boy and painting to my heart's content - maybe I'll recreate the peonies I sketched above in my art journal!

21 Secrets Registration

**UPDATE 5/31/2011: 21 Secrets registration is extended until January 1, 2012! Check out the details here.


Dear friends,

It's here!! I and the other twenty beautiful women taking part in 21 SECRETS have been working hard to put our workshops together for you. And, finally...


It's going to be such an incredible experience. I'd love to have you join us! Once you register, you'll have access to twenty one individual workshops, each of which includes at least one video tutorial about a technique or approach to art journaling, one PDF that you can print and keep, and an ocean of creativity and inspiration! You'll meet hundreds of new friends, too.

My own workshop is called Beautiful You, Radiant You. The description is below.
"We spend a great deal of time focused on the external happenings of our lives, yet often neglect to explore our own dreams, needs, and souls. Join me in dedicating a few hours to amazing you - we'll investigate and celebrate all your one of a kind wonderfulness! Learn how to create mandalas, use symbolism, tuck away secrets, and employ other techniques to bring your unique self into your art journal pages. Step by step instruction, writing and artistic prompts, and a great dose of inspiration included!"
(Psst, this means that I will personally introduce myself in person for the very first time!)

The workshops will open on 1 April, but you can sign up today. Please click on the link below to register, and be sure to send this way anyone you think might be interested. Let's get our artsiness on!


Thanks so much, beauties. Wishing you lots of love and a wonderful start to your week!

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