Week One Lifebook 2018…Continued…


I’ve talked about this one before, when she was just a sketch…

There ‘should’ be all sorts of doodles all over the place…and before I started to add paint and color, there were…it was quite chaotic.  By the time I started to work on finishing the background, I decided I would feel better if it were all just painted over and left to lie beneath the paint.

My symbols here:

The Rabbit, which has been forcing its way into my life for about two years now…technically the love affair with bunnies started even longer ago…with Br’er Rabbit when I was a little kid…and moved into a pet bunny when I was a slightly older kid…and then a few years ago my angoras that I developed the allergy to their hay so I had to let them go (I placed them with a rabbit shelter–I didn’t just turn the poor boys out or anything).

The Peacock (that shape at the throat), this is another that has been here a long time and always seems to push itself forward in more recent years.

The Raven (that feather in the hair), half of my Totem animal team…where would I be without the Raven?

Mushrooms…do you see the name of my blog here?  Alice in all things, even if it is my Alyce…but mushrooms are a big thing for me in and of themselves and really, other than Alice’s tale, because they aren’t really plants–they aren’t really animals–they are something else entirely (fungus)…the whole concept of mushroom…it grows on and consumes the dead–a necessary thing to keep the world revolving…they cross-over, between the worlds, they bridge the gaps between things…and that is why they call to me.

Her word is ‘homecoming’…which fits in with my own word of the year, ‘settle in’.  With a bit of flowery flourish at the end.

This is the first one I drew, following Tam’s style and lead.  The original plan was to draw things in Tam’s style and then do it again in my own style–but things have been so convoluted…it isn’t working out that way.  All I can say though is…it is helping.  The exercises, not the art, are really helping.  The art solidifies the healing aspects (although, to be clear, you don’t have to do any of the healing bits if you are a part of any of Tam’s classes–it can be all about the art for you.)



Week 1 Lifebook 2018


So, I have already talked about this piece before.

I am a bit entertained that to me the inside of that circle sort of looks like the British flag, and it was supposed to be flower petals that didn’t really pan out as nice fat petals…and I had to stop messing with it before I totally screwed it up…

This was the making marks warm-up lesson of week 1.  Nothing fancy or elaborate.  I could have skipped it, but it felt disingenuine to do so.  If I watched all the color theory videos and everything else again, there was no reason to skip the warm-up exercise.


A New Year In Life Book 2018

WIP finally able to start playing w week 1 lessons from lifebook 2018

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I feel so far behind in Life Book…

Lessons are released on Mondays…I manage to download the lessons Monday…if I am lucky by Wednesday I have started to watch the lessons.  Usually, it’s Thursday.

I told you, we have a lot going on this year.  Mondays used to be my day to recuperate from the weekends when everyone is here.  Now, there is no rest until about Wednesday…and it’s not that restful because there is so much going on all over.  No rest for the wicked, I know.  I feel as if I have no breathing room at the moment.

Add into that LifeBook…and although I can get pretty cranky about some things…this is my breathing room.  Not the art per se…although I love that part…it’s the actual healing aspect of it…which is why I decided to come back to Life Book this year.

The picture above is the first art piece of LifeBook this year, just a mark making exercise.  I don’t think I could have been any more cranky making something if someone had pissed gasoline on me and set me on fire.  Seriously.

That’s not how I work.  That’s not how I want to work.  The chaos and the noise of it made my head hurt.  Grr.  Ya know, I fought my way through it…and I mean it…I fought my way through that…because I knew meeting the resistance where it was was going to help me on down the line.

Guess what, it didn’t really help.

However, I did learn I don’t have to do that stuff at all –and that is what helped me.

WIP. ..finally able to start the actual first lesson on lifebook 2018

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This is my initial sketch for the main lesson of Week 1…my original intention was to do things the instructor’s way…in this lesson, Tam…and then interpret the lesson in my own way, using my own style…

except that it took me two weeks to complete this piece (pictures forthcoming after I bring out my baseball bat to threaten the printer/scanner a bit).

One the one hand, I let things dry completely before moving ahead.  I thought about colors.  I thought about intentions.  I put in everything Tam asked us to put in…all the doodles and everything top to bottom.  When you see the finished piece, remember that…by the time I finished her, all that stuff was gone because it made my head hurt.

HOWEVER, in all of that, I found a new space, a new equanimity, a new ground upon which to stand.  Tam said one thing during her video, something about liking to put wings inside clothes, in strange places, that she liked to add the element of the surreal because it spoke to the artistic part of her brain…and that comment, that concept, it reverberated through my brain for two days before my heart digested it and gave it back to me in methods that I could fathom and envelope…and a whole new level of experience has been reached.

I said (mostly to myself, I guess) that Life Book 2018 for me was not going to be about the art.  I do not want to make art that looks exactly like Tam’s.  I want to learn new things, yes, but I want to expand and explore my own style more.  Life Book for me this year is all about the healing process.

Lifebook week 3…just a sketch, but getting there…

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This is my initial sketch of Tam’s lesson for Week 2.  I don’t know why I didn’t post any pictures of my pieces inspired by Andrea Gomoll’s lesson.  I will post the completed pieces…when they are done and after tussling with the printer/scanner…

This is my Bear Of Compassion…I have another sketch already started too…since this one is bigger than I want (I couldn’t put the wings on it) and it’s tilted sideways like he’s standing on a hill or something…but this lesson really hit me hard…especially where I was at the time.

So, the whole I’m learning art thing…no…this is all about healing, about self-compassion, and about creating some space for me to breathe into, just for myself.

Thank you for that, Tamara Laporte…and all the teachers of Life Book this year.



Oh, Yes, I Am Playing Along…

Oh, yes, I am playing along with this year’s prompts

I have a sketchbook–well, it’s more of a writing journal that I turned into a sketchbook…and I have been sketching every day of October…

Here are some of the finished pieces:


It usually takes me a couple days to sketch, then paint, then finish each one…which is why I don’t publish them every day…I just can’t…but eventually…all shall be revealed.


But wait, I have also been using the prompts here to write stories over on the Sisters blog…can you tell which ones were inspired by what prompt?

My goal this month is to write something every day…whether it gets published on Sisters or not…so far, so good…

Here are a couple links to get you interested…and inspired…more will be coming along…

Flowers In The Forest

Into The Forest Dark

Sleep Tight

I think at the end of October, I will pull together all the art that I have done, as well as all the stories, and I will create a little book…different than the usual free PDF at the end of October…but still, along that same vein.


29 Faces Update

So, this is not the month for me to do this challenge, at all.

I have been planning to write this post for a while…and luckily, I have many sketches on instagram to show that I actually have drawn something…

Am I up to date on my count?


I have completed five faces in total.  I have sketched out twenty faces in total.  My pink polka dot journal has a face on every page…thanks to going to my husband’s latest softball game and feeling calm enough to sketch and to scribble (it was really nice, outside, under a tree, without much noise in the background…well, most of the time)…

May not look like much, but it's my 29 faces journal I made from a gift bag…

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I won’t be posting every single instagram picture…they are all tagged.

I haven’t been posting the finished products–and yes, my printer/scanner is still refusing to speak to my computer…two of the pieces I did this month were actually for other projects and you will be seeing a lot of them next month and next year…but for now, I will not be revealing them.

WIP. ..first layer of color

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The week after next I am having surgery…I am reaching a point where all I want to do here is clean and organize–which is a farce when my teenager comes in right behind me and literally in five minutes has decimated all the work I have done…and thank you, I have tried talking to her–she can’t see what I am talking about so I am wasting my breath…so, I do what I can…and pray I might find some of the things she puts away who knows where when I actually need them…so I am not sure how much more art I will do…or if I will just keep making books…I like making books–it is calming, stressful but relaxing…and since I now have a collection of fountain pens to play with…I am looking forward to some downtime to write after the surgery…knock on wood.

A New Hand-Made Hand-Bound Journal Created

Found a stack of old artwork…turned it into a little handbound journal

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A while back, I lost my three-hole punch.

It wasn’t really lost; it had merely been put somewhere safe, somewhere very safe…and it took me a bit to figure out where the heck that might be.

During the many—many—searches that I made in order to find that three-hole punch, I found a great deal of stuff…much of it I had totally forgotten about.

Before I started taking any sort of online art classes, I had painted these very quick Goddess figures on cardstock…and I found the stack of them, stuffed under and stuck back behind, a bunch of stuff…

So I pulled them out…confused as to their existence for a while.

Then I decided–they’d make a terrific base for a journal of some sort…be it an art journal or a writing journal.

So, on the sixth, I started to work on my Full Moon piece.  I used paint — and I had left-over paint–which I threw down on some cardstock because it was sitting right there.  Halfway through the Full Moon piece, it struck me that the cardstock goddesses would be fine wrapped in a cardstock cover.

So.  That’s what happened.

I splattered and sploshed paint all over the cover cardstock piece.  Then I doused that with a hefty dose of glitter.  hey, if it doesn’t have glitter, is it honestly worth having?  Come on…  I let that dry a little bit before spraying it with sealant.  Then I let that dry for a few hours.

Meanwhile, I cut all the goddess cardstock to the same size, as I hadn’t apparently paid attention or cared about every piece being the same size when they were originally created.

I created ten signatures of three pages each.

When the cover was dry, I cut that a bit larger than the pages themselves.

I added a piece of duck tape (patterned, yes) down the spine to reinforce it a bit.

Then I eyeballed the binding holes…and that is why they are so uneven–I thought I had everything right…but apparently, the guide I was using had slipped and I didn’t notice until after I had the holes in the cover…thirty holes in the cover–that wins, hands down.

So I punched the holes in all the signatures.

I bound the signatures in, using crochet thread.

Then, I added duck tape to the inside of the covers, along the outer edges, just to add some strength, and because the pages are a bit smaller than the covers and I didn’t want the unpainted underside of the cover showing after I glued down the first and last page…so — duck tape took care of that.

I am beginning to enjoy binding books with the tails on the inside of the signatures.

I am also contemplating making some books with hidden bindings.

So much going on lately…who knows what will come of things?

I’ll keep you updated as I find things out…and as I figure things out.