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Note to Self

Happy, happy Friday! I wonder if it's been as crazy a week for you as it has been for me? I can nearly hear the days wooshing by, and last week already feels like it happened years ago. And it's almost October - really? How in the world did that happen?!

I hope you're planning exciting and wondrous and lovely adventures (or perhaps comfy, sleepy, restful days) this weekend. I'm looking forward to catching up on schoolwork, putting together some packages to ship out, painting, and sleeping.

Two important announcements for you today, lovelies:

   Today is the very, very last day to sign up for 21 SECRETS. This is the last chance for you to take part in an incredible community of hundreds of artists teaching and learning from one another; last chance for you to take part in twenty one original online art workshops and learn countless new techniques, projects, prompts, and inspirations from twenty one amazing teachers. At 12:00 tonight, 21 SECRETS registration is closed for good, but the magic will continue behind closed doors until the New Year - you will be registering to take part in three more months of exploration, discovery, and magic.
   Please consider joining in on an experience that will leave you breathless with creative energy, amazing insights, and new friends around the world. There is a special price - only $49.99 - for the rest of the day. Click here to read more about each workshop (including my own!) and to register.
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A spread made in the process of creating my 21 SECRETS 
workshop, "Beautiful You, Radiant You."

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   Today is also the last day of my giveaway! Enter by midnight tonight to win a completely free and totally scrumptious digital art program from MyMemories. Check out more details here! I'll pick a winner sometime this weekend.

And a bonus announcement: Connie Hozvicka is going to be a mama! She is the owner of Dirty Footprints Studio, the founder of the 21 SECRETS, Big, Inner Breath, and Deep workshops, and is one of the most incredible, deeply kind, women I have ever come to know. She glows from the inside out. And she's going to be such a wonderful mother to a very luck little one. Won't you go wish her a big congratulations and send her some love?

Have a marvelous weekend, friends, and happy Michaelmas!

Featured Artist: Aimee of Artsyville

Oh no! I've just realized that I haven't yet posted on the most fabulous Aimee of Artsyville! She is an incredible woman and artist, and I'm so glad that I noticed my mistake in time to share her loveliness here before 21 Secrets registration closes in just a few days.

You see, Aimee is teaching a workshop there – did you know it's all online? – called 3 Little Words; it's bursting with writing prompts and fun and creative exercises with words intended to inspire your art journal pages!

And just because I love you all so much (okay, it's really because Connie loves you all so much), there's extra delicious news: from now until this Friday, 21 Secrets is discounted to a very special price of $49.99! Hurry up, lovelies - at 11:59 on September 30, registration will be closed for good. Click here for more information and to register!


Aimee is a mastermind at lettering, creating beautiful and inspirational messages, and creating gorgeous, rich, colorful backgrounds. She has been published in many places, including several art journaling books and in Art Journaling magazine. I would love to get a poster of her work to frame on my wall! This one would be perfect, I think.


Won't you go pay Aimee a visit? You can find her at her blog, Artsyville; be sure to check out all the colorful goodness in her Etsy shop, too. And do have a look at 21 Secrets - there is so much wonderful inspiration and creativity happening there, with twenty one online workshops about art and art journaling from twenty one fabulous teachers, including yours truly! 

Here is that link to registration once again.

Wonderful, Silly, Amazing Life

Colored leaves, autumn 2010.

Last Tuesday evening, I was in a car accident. I remember the headlights coming straight towards me, growing alarmingly larger.

Miraculously, I'm not seriously injured. I walked away with a small scrape and several bruises, but the reality of it is that I was quite literally two feet away from death: the car crashed into the front right wheel well, a very short distance from where I was sitting in the front passenger seat.

It is this thought that is slowly growing to recognition in my mind – how by such narrow margins I'm walking, talking, and breathing today – and, to be honest, it's incredibly difficult to wrap my head around. I've lost two close friends in the past few years, and another sweet friend recently had her own awakening to mortality. I am finding that I am more deeply saddened by these experiences than my own, and this surprises me.

Life is a funny thing. We grow so comfortable in our bodies and with the tiny details in our lives: the routine of coffee in the morning, the uncertainty of picking out the perfect outfit for a night out, the hustle to finish a project before a deadline. These little things become so important to us and often become the main focus of our lives; it's so easy to forget how enormous the Universe is and how beautiful the world is.

We forget to enjoy food, music, and art as if it were the first time we were experiencing it. We forget how incredibly lucky we are to be here, experiencing this: with all its ups and downs, bad hair days, sadnesses and sufferings and mistakes, life is a grand adventure, filled with the most amazing things and the most lovely people.

Our mere existence is more wondrous than we could ever imagine.

Today I invite you to look at the world with new eyes and consider, no matter your circumstances, how magnificent it is to be alive.

PS. There are lots of giveaways going on right now! Check out Natty's 300th post celebration, iHanna's Raw Journaling giveaway, and my digital art software giveaway! Also, 21 Secrets registration is open for just one more week – last chance to sign up!

Giveaway! My Memories Digital Scrapbook Software




My goodness, lovelies, but I've been busy! This week especially has been particularly insane, bursting at the seams with deadlines and assignments and places to be. I haven't had the time to sit down and paint for a while, and hope that this next week I'll find an hour here and there to sink into the pages of my art journal.

I did, though, create the digital collage above! I used a program called My Memories; it's actually intended for scrapbooking, but the possibilities really are endless, with hundreds of papers, embellishments, textures, shapes, graphics, photo options, and more. And guess what? I'm giving away one free My Memories Suite software package!

(Please note that I turn down quite a few offers for payment for promotion of websites and products because they are not right for this blog. This software is something I truly like and I hope will be fun and inspirational to you as well!)


This software is incredibly simple to use, and offers great control over placement, color, size, shapes, layering, et cetera. It's ranked #1 on Amazon! In addition to creating scrapbook layouts, you can put together photobooks, cards, and calendars to share. I'd also really love to try:
  • Printing out a finished "collage" (or several!) and using it in my physical art journal.
  • Making custom pages and using them as background collage material in my art.
  • Starting a collage on the computer and completing it by hand, adding details and doodles.
  • Creating a book and then painting on its pages, using it as an art journal.
You could use this program to explore a certain theme or idea before expanding on it in your own journal, too. Like I said - so many possibilities!

Onward – to the giveaway!
Rules for entry:

1. Check out the My Memories website and leave a comment on this post about favorite digital paper pack or layout!
2. For additional entries, spread the word! Tweet about this giveaway, like My Memories on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter; and be sure to leave a separate comment here for each action taken!
3. Please (please, please, please!) include an email address in each entry. If you do not, your entry will not be counted.
4. I will pick a winner randomly on Friday, September 30th and announce it on the blog. The winner will be emailed all the details on how to claim their prize!
Be sure to check out their blog, too. And finally, My Peacetree readers are being offered a special discount code for purchasing the My Memories Suite software! It has no expiration date and can be used again and again. Enter STMMMS34177 when completing your purchase, and you'll get a $10 discount plus a $10 coupon for the My Memories store!

Good luck, loves!

    The Wholehearted


    I recently found this beautiful video from fellow blogger BrenĂ© Brown. The things she addresses here – vulnerability, shame, courage, and worthiness – are very close to my heart, expressed in part in this post last month.

    Sending so much love to you this weekend.

    It's in the Details


    In the midst of all the newness of starting another academic term, I've managed to find some time to work in my art journal. Admittedly, part of this has to do with the fact that the library was closed for several days and I was waiting for my new computer to be delivered – there were few things to do!


    I love how this spread turned out: it's brightly colored and full of fun details. It became a tribute to the summer, with its warmth, adventure, and sun-filled days. And the flap below? In July my silly brother decided to do a flip into the swimming pool and cracked his forehead open with his knee. I'm not quite sure how it happened. (Don't you worry, he has completely healed!)

    I don't often do themed journal pages; I'm more inclined to follow my instinct and play with layers, colors, and texture as I go. It's such fun, though, to break away from the familiar and delve into an unexplored technique. Do you often use themed prompts to guide a journal spread?

    Check out more photos here.

    Mini Journal: The End!

    Hello, loves! I have been computerless for the past week, waiting for a nearly brand new Mac to make its way to me, its delivery waylaid by hurricane Irene. Soon! I am looking forward to sharing new posts with you soon, but in the meantime, here is the wrap-up of my self-made collage book, put together a few weeks ago. Hope you're doing splendidly!

    I have a special place in my heart for small journals. Here are the last pages of my smallest art journal yet, created and filled in the UK several years ago. (See parts one and two.) The raven in the second to last photo was a gift from the amazing Violette, who is teaching at 21 Secrets with me!


    The end

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