Missing the weekend.

Ahhhh, weekends. I adore them. It’s an early Monday morning as I type and I’ll admit that I’m not quite as fond of Mondays so before I head off into the craziness, I’m going to bask in the weekend just a little longer.

Sometimes I have a specific project or plan when I work in the studio, and this weekend was no different. I should have been working on a series of art which is the result of some awesome creative coaching I’ve been getting from Tara Leaver. Never one to argue with the muse, I did something completely different instead. I pulled my sewing machine out of the closet and tried my hand at adding fabric to art journal pages.

As with anything, more experience and practice will improve the results, but I’m excited about the new textures and possibilities that it offers.

I just started sewing without a plan and let it develop naturally. I really like this deep red flower.

It was time to see what surprises my small press held and when I opened it up, there were lots of interesting bits. I wanted to incorporate them into a page somehow and this is the result. Other materials include: watercolor paper, waxed paper, fabric, thread, and acrylic paint.

I couldn’t decide which I liked better – the front or the back. Luckily, I don’t have to choose. I’m going to insert the page so that both sides show because I think they’re both lovely in their own way.

I’ve been doing quite a bit of art journaling lately because it’s a great way to experiment with colors and materials in a way that isn’t risky. It’s small so it’s not a huge commitment of time or materials. If you don’t like it, you can paint over it. And the best thing about it – if you’ve got space to leave your project out, you can add things whenever the mood strikes. Sometimes I find a beautiful piece of paper or see a shape that I want to add and I take 5 minutes to add this to my journal(s). Over time, the layers build up into something thick and gorgeous. Bits and pieces of your life captured on paper.

And you’re getting better and braver at creating art with every little step.

I work on three journals at a time. This means that there is always an open page available, even if paint or glue is drying on the other ones. I don’t buy expensive journals. As with most of my art supplies, I prefer to work with inexpensive or found objects. I find that it takes the pressure off and I don’t get stressed out if something doesn’t turn out the way I expect. And if I leave my brushes soaking in water for too long, it’s okay. (This happens regularly.)

I’ve gathered together a list of online resources and inspiration as I’ve collected as I’ve been art journaling and I plan to send these out in a newsletter (a way, way overdue newsletter) very soon.

You can see more art journal pics (among a smattering of other things)  in my Flickr portfolio.

Yes, that is a tarantula. We ran across this bad boy on the trail yesterday at the Golden Open Space. Of course, I screamed and all that jazz. If you ask me, jumping up and down and hollaring at the top of your lungs is required behavior when encountering a spider with legs this long and hairy. I was just trying to get with the program. My husband helpfully (and correctly) pointed out that the spider was dead and was therefore unlikely to devour my leg.

We’re hiking from 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles, Albuquerque Edition, and I’m in charge of planning the hikes. This is an interesting assignment for someone who is untethered in time and space. I also tend to skim over details because I’m always in a hurry. Like that time the guidebook clearly recommended long pants to protect from the pointy and evil desert plants as we hacked our way through undergrowth.

(An aside: I’m sorry, Don. It was just coincidence that I showed up in long pants while you were wearing shorts. I’m sure the scars will eventually heal and I have learned an important lesson – actually read the guidebook.)

Here’s how a hike typically begins:

D: So, where are we heading? Pleasant smile, expectant expression on his face.

R: Just get on the expressway. I’ll let you know in a minute. This is accompanied by frantic page flipping to recall (or decide) where the hike will be.

D rolls eyes and accelerates. He’s been through this before and is numb.

We eventually end up hiking, but not until we’ve overcome some small obstacle. We have arrived at hiking areas only to find that one must request access to a private road before hiking. We’ve driven miles up winding mountain roads only to discover what the entire state already knows – everything is closed due to high risk of forest fires.

I am an optimist. I always think that the drive will be shorter, the hike will be easier, and that there will be more shade. Don is a good sport about it, but each and every one of these things are immediately obvious to him because he is firmly rooted in the detail of life. He could guess what time it is within 3 minutes even if he hasn’t seen a clock for hours and has been wandering aimlessly in the wilderness or an underground cave. He counts and measures things in his head without even being aware of it.

And so we muddle through, each in our own world but somehow, miraculously together.

The book said there was a cave, but we were standing right on top of it and didn’t see it at first because it requires scrambling down off the rim of the trail to enter. Afterwards, we realized that this cairn marked the spot and we added our own rock on top for posterity.

The Don contemplates the world.

For the record, it was incredibly hot out there and except for this cave, there was not a bit of shade to be found.

This entire area is a series of interconnected arroyos and watersheds, striated with red-clay. Looking down from the top into the drainage basin is striking and beautiful but it was impossible for me to capture adequately on camera.

On Sunday afternoon, a friend came over and we painted for a couple of hours in the studio. We watched a Flora Bowley video and paged through her book, Brave Intuitive Painting for a creative jump start.

Here are the results so far:

Painting in progress by Sarah Reynolds.
This one is mine.

All in all, a wonderful weekend and I’m missing it already. I wish you a lovely and creative week, my friends.

After the Frost – Free ebook

July 23rd – Free ebook day!

 In the Pacific Northwest of 1928, Julian Powell lives a life that for most appears to be one of privilege—a perfect life in a huge house, servants, and carefully groomed grounds. No matter how idyllic it might seem, it has become a prison for Julian. His days are filled with the endless monotony of family gatherings, gossip, and brown suits. Overshadowing him is a life-long illness. Julian finds his only freedom from his overbearing family in secretly writing books celebrating the beauty of nature. Occasionally he escapes to the local bookstore, with the hope of seeing the town’s eccentric, William Neill. Julian’s life changes forever when he makes the boldest decision of his life. He leaves to take care of an ailing childhood friend, moving to a place that will take him away from all he has ever known to an unexpected new life. He becomes part of a family of his own choosing, and it brings him closer to the man that he’s been secretly falling for—a man who has a prison of his own to escape. As William and Julian struggle to overcome their pasts, will their secrets bring them together or drive them apart?

 Please don’t forget to visit the author, PG Owyns, on