Ayeka, Mixed media, 9 x 12″, 2019.

Ayeka? Where are you?

The inspiration for the artwork comes from various things- my love for all things science and the art of diagrams, for one. The idea of skin and a barrier to outside forces, and a sermon on Ayeka, delivered via video conferencing, due to a howling blizzard of a day in Iowa.

Boredom Buster Books

I finally got around to creating a set of small take-along binders for my two kids.  They are forever wanting to be busy, constantly restless in restaurants, and my eldest is always wanting to write or draw something.  Here is what my solution looks like:

A half-sized, mini binder filled with pocket dividers, page protectors with activities, and lined paper in the back for writing or drawing.


I drew some simple, blank-ish images for the kids to creatively fill in.  My thoughts were to update these every now and then with more simple line drawings.


We absolutely love the Crayola dry erase markers – washable, wipeable, bright, and not smelly!

My five-year old, as we speak, is working diligently on  her book, all while giving me suggestions for more pages.  I haven’t even dived into the free printable sections of the internet yet, but suspect that will be the next place I look for page ideas.


I made quite a few simple pages with writing practice.  My eldest is working hard on learning her rather long middle name, address, and phone number.  This certainly can’t hurt!

Now I am debating whether or not to make a set of these for the drawing center in my classroom.  I could fill  it with some simple drawing ideas for the younger grades, or even with FAQ in drawing.

A book is a dream…

I make so many false starts when I make art. I don’t document then very often, as I usually recycle them, squish them, paint over them, or hand them off to my children to tear and cut up into collages.

This time, I decided to give the false start away with the finalized artwork. I started off very enthused about using the polka dot theme my colleague was using in her new baby’s nursery. Partway through, I came up with a different approach – more aerial and dream-like.  And so, I abandoned the polka dots.  In the end, I gave her both. I know, I know, total cop-out and not having to decide to throw it out, right?


Sorry, Morgan, I promise I wasn’t trying to put the decision-making on your shoulders. One time, I was all ready to throw out my false start art for a friends’ tropical themed wedding gift, but she asked to see it and ended up wanting it as well. When I’m my worst critic, I send along the false starts now as well.  I’ll happily dispose of false starts if I am passing along a terrible task, as I have read Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and really appreciated her entire section on gift-giving.


In other news, despite the loud silence on this blog, I have been extremely busy and productive as of late – my own artwork, school samples, cooking, baking, organizing, decorating, and crafting. You name it – I’ve been working on it.  My hours have been spent creating, not documenting as of late.  Be prepared for a floodgate of posts on here at some point…

Collaborative Turtle Drawing

My New Year’s Resolution of creating something at least once a week is chugging right along with great success.  Both kids went down for a nap at the same time (!) yesterday, and I managed to get started on a still life drawing in color pencil, which I will show you at a later time.  Greta came creeping down the stairs while I was about half way through this drawing.  She climbed up on a stool next to me, still dazed from sleep, to see what I was working on.  She proceeded to trace her finger over the areas I had already added color to, and ask me, “How you do this, Mommy?”  It was then I realized that she didn’t remember the last time she had seen me work on my own art.  I have only worked on my own art after she was in bed, and I have drawn things for her at her art table, but she did not recall Mom making her own art.

I explained to her that I make artwork on my own sometimes and that I was using color pencil and drawing from observation, meaning I was looking at a something while I drew it.  She asked me if she could draw something in my drawing book with my pencils.  I flipped to a new page and asked her what it was she wanted to draw.  Her reply was, “A turtle.”  Greta is just a little fascinated with turtles and even calls her brother a turtle.  She was also a turtle for Halloween this past year, and we created a detailed papier mâché turtle shell, something which I now realize I never did get around to posting.

She then asked me to find an image of a turtle on my phone, because, “It is easier to draw when I look at it.”  I found two turtle images for her to look at, one of which was eating a strawberry.


My sweet 3-year old used my drawing pencil to draw this outline.  Then, she told me I should color it in.  I was a proud art teacher mama to see how big and confidently she drew this turtle outline!

turtle.collabShe politely asked me to add the strawberry and asked if she could color in that part.  I obliged and colored in the remaining parts of the turtle.  I have to say, this was one of the more exciting artworks I have done in a long time.  I was thrilled to make this artwork with her and have been hoping for just this kind of collaboration for a couple of years now – ever since a friend directed me to the blog post on the Busy Mockingbird, on Collaborating with a 4-year old.