Happy Almost New Year! See you on the other side!

Good evening, pals!  We are almost to the end of 2020!  Good on you for making it this far!  Of course, I don't need to tell you what a challenge and a struggle it has been.  A growing list of my dear friends have lost loved ones to this pandemic, and it is so heartbreaking.  I just cannot find the words....it's all too much, really. I count myself a fortunate one to still be blessed with my loved ones at my side, my good health and a warm home.  My husband and I have been able to continue our work....we both already worked from home, and really love the simplicity of it.  But there's something different all together about not feeling safe to venture out for the fun, isn't it?   

We're managing. We've adjusted our sails, slowed down, and found delight in the small things.  I dare say we appreciate more.  So much more than ever.  And we are trying to let people know we love them when we can.  I personally am finding respite in the simple act of creating a little something every day.  While I've missed the art shows and seeing my wonderful customers and friends in person, I've enjoyed the slower pace, void of too many deadlines.  I'm following my creative muse wherever she decides to lead me.  I'm enjoying exploring different mediums.  I've dusted off the old sewing machine again, and have had a blast stitching painted canvas banners, prayer flags and other goodies.  I took a ceramics class in November to refresh my skills, and JUST LOVE IT! I'm spending a few hours a week at the local community potter's studio, where I soak up all the inspiration and nuggets of wisdom that I can.  I'm having fun with some online courses as well...in painting, mixed media and ceramics.  I'm hoping to spend the rest of the winter just soaking in the processes of other artists and learning some new techniques.  I find that's such a good way to recharge the creative batteries.

My gratitude goes out to all of you, dear readers, friends, supporters, cheerleaders, customers and all around kick ass people.  Thanks for making 2020 more bearable, and helping me to see how truly blessed I am.  I look forward to writing and creating more in the new year.  May this note find you happy, healthy and full of hope.  Happy New Year.  -Dori


More from that Tall Skinny Journal and SNOW (What?)

Hey there kiddos!  How are you?  Happy October!!!  Popping in with a few more pages of that tall skinny journal....but first....LOOK!  SNOW!  UGH!!!  I was out running errands yesterday, and when I walked out of Joann's with my Fray Check and bright pink paint (ha! random), it was SNOWING.  HEAVILY!!!  I had no idea that was coming.  I think we got a few inches by the time it was all over.  It is so very pretty....but darn it.  I'm not ready for this.  

For family members who've been checking up on us, that big tree on the left is the locust that lost a big branch in the derecho.  The branch pretty much hit our dormer and then dragged down the front, taking our gutters and a small window with it. (Fortunately, just the outside pane, but still will need to be replaced) Tree guys coming soon to clean up the wounded tree. Window guy coming next week to measure.  Gutter guys and dormer repair...we won't see them til spring.  But we are still so grateful the old dame of a house held up!  

Okay, onward to the journal pages.....happy Tuesday!


The Tall Skinny August/September Journal Continued


Good morning friends!  Most of you have been following along on social media with my tall skinny August journal that became a tall skinny September journal due to derecho.  But I thought I'd pop in here and start getting caught up with sharing the rest of the journal on the blog.  The book is all done now....all filled up...I even embellished the covers, inside and out, and it's now a beloved treasure on the shelf with the rest of my completed journals.  It's SO SATISFYING to fill a book cover to cover.  I'm currently starting in a spiral bound sketchbook that was started and abandoned way back in the day.  Will post some of those pics soon.


Lately, around here, we are settling into fall.  October is one of my favorite months.  It's our wedding anniversary months, and we love Halloween and Dia de los Muertos.  Every couple of years, we love hosting a Dia de los Muertos party.  This would've been the year to do it again, but alas, the Corona has other plans.  So I'm turning my attention to little projects around the house, touching up paint, cleaning out a drawer or a closet here and there, and I even....drum roll please.....am getting a jump on ornaments.  WHAT??!!  I've never painted my ornaments this early.  We'll see how long I can stick with it.  Ha!  Anyway, howdy, hello and hugs to you all.  Hope you are staying healthy and well.  We're gonna make it.  More journal pages to share soon.  Love, D

Getting Back Into the Groove

 Good morning friends!  WOW!  I just realized that August 10th was my last entry here on the blog.  August 10th was also the day our city endured a derecho, an inland hurricane with winds up to 140 miles per hour.  WOW.  Here. In Iowa. Crazy.  Our city of Cedar Rapids seems to have been hit the hardest.....so many trees gone.  Someone said we lost nearly 50% of the city's tree canopy.  

That morning I got up and worked through my usual routine of walking the dogs and prepping for the day.  My "window guy" had just stopped by and measured for 4 new windows for my studio.  As he was leaving, he said there's a storm headed our direction, should be here early afternoon.  So I put away some of the outdoor furniture, and closed the patio umbrella.  Little did we know that would be the least of our worries.  Ha!!!  My kids had just happened to stop by to say hi, and they ended up "trapped" with us at the house for hours.  No power, no access to roads, all blocked in by trees and debris.  Our next door neighbor's chimney blew off their house.  WHAT?  

We Patricks were very fortunate.  We came out of it relatively unscathed.  Most of our damage was cosmetic....a broken window, a little damage to the top of our chimney, fence, and gutters in the front.  And LOTS of debris.  Leaves and twigs and trunks and branches....all over the place.  We went 10 days without power, and a month without internet.

We still have a lot to be thankful for.  We have loving neighbors, who, in the following days, banded together to help each other clear debris and clean up the best we could.  Since we were without power, we all started grilling meats and using up food that was about to spoil, and sharing it with one another.  Every evening, we got back together to eat after a long day of cleaning and hauling.  I am so thankful that my kids ended up getting "stuck" at our house, and were not out on the road at the time.  We are glad our doggies were able to hide in the basement with us while we waited it out.  And to think, we were worried about the patio umbrella.  Ha!!!  Sometimes, priorities have a way of showing themselves.  

Now, we are about a month and ten days post storm, and we are settling back into some sort of routine.   My hubby, who works from home, had to beg and borrow some internet for about a month before we got ours back....he's home again, and we love it!  (our anniversary is coming up...and we are going to really be counting our blessings this year!) It's going to be a long wait for getting repairs done....all contractors, handymen, tree trimmers are MONTHS BEHIND because the whole city needs their help.  But we are going to carry on.  We'll make it.

So that's where I've been, friends.....to those of you who follow along on Facebook and IG, THANK YOU for your kind words and messages, and thank you for your business as well!!!  With all the art shows cancelled, online sales are keeping my little business afloat....so I THANK YOU. I'll be following up with some more joyful pics soon.  My August journal is now a September journal...and I have some pages to share with you here.  Stay tuned!  Much love, and gratitude, Dori and family

August Journal Page #8


Happy Monday morning friends!  I hope you are well, and had a restful weekend.  We are all doing fine over here....nothing too exciting to report.  It's still so dry here in eastern Iowa.....we need a really good soak.  Things are turning brown.  This weekend was supposed to be the Crystal Lake Art Fair in Champaigne/Urbana, IL...but of course, like everything else, it has been cancelled....but they did a great job of promoting the artists online, for which I'm thankful!  THANKS to everyone who placed orders in my Etsy shop this weekend!  I'll be busy packing them up and getting them to the post office later today.  

Pictured above is page 8 in the August journal.  So far, we are humming along nicely, and I'm enjoying the challenge of digging into that book every day!  Thanks for following along!  Have a great week!

August Journal Page #6 and #7


Happy weekend friends!  It's warming back up here in Iowa.  Hot, hot, hot.  And DRY.  We really could use some rain.  All of the plants and the grass are looking sad.  Boooo.

Just popping in with journal pages 6 and 7.  I'm really having fun with this journal!  I'm realizing I really dig watercolor paper!!  It just soaks up all the juiciness...it's wonderful!  And tough!  Thinking up and working on pieces for a couple of new ideas too.  Things are hopping in the studio, and that is a good thing!  I love it when a flurry of inspiration washes over me.  I'm going to ride that wave as long as it will last.  Cheers, mates!

August Journal Pages #4 and #5

Good morning friends!  Happy Thursday!  Today's post is a "two-fer"!  Pages 4 and 5 in my August journal!!!  The hubby and I took a much needed mental health day yesterday and drove up to Madison for some sun, fun, food, and shopping.  It was wonderful!  We came home tired, but still invigorated.  It's such a colorful city.  I could see myself there.  

Knowing I was going to miss a day in the studio, I got pages 4 and 5 done in one sitting before I left. 
Hope you enjoy!!!  Can you tell I love to scribble?  Have a great day!  -Dori

August Journal Page #3

Page number 3 is "in the books" as they say.  Happy Tuesday, pals!

August Journal Challenge #2

Here's page number two in the August journal.  I'm really digging those juicy baby blue lines under the words, and the inky circles up in the corner.  Have a great Monday, peeps!

August Journal Challenge #1

This is the first spread in my new journal.  I'm attempting to do a spread every day in August.  Stay tuned for more.  XOXO.

My August Creative Journaling Challenge

Happy Weekend, pals!  It's been JUST GORGEOUS here in Iowa.  Mild temps and sunshine led to some patio sitting and hanging out near the doggie pool.  The hubby and I have been catching up on some reading and other quiet pursuits that can be accomplished in a lawn chair.  It's been wonderful. 

I just started Untamed by Glennon Doyle, and it's as wonderful as everyone says.  I will read it a second time, but likely with the highlighter handy.  So many good nuggets to remember.

In other news.....this is a wonderful, tall, skinny, handmade journal I got from my sweet friend, Barb. It's full of luscious watercolor paper, and is hand bound. It measures approximately 5" x 10". Isn't it gorgeous? 

Soooo....I'm giving myself a creative challenge for August!

I'm going to do a journal spread for every day in August. I think mostly abstracts, but we'll see which way the wind blows. I'll share my progress here, on Instagram and on Facebook, if you'd like to follow along, or join me and do your own journaling challenge!! Cheers! Happy weekend, friends!

Itty Bitty Teeny Tiny Bits of Joy

Happy Tuesday, pals!  Uhhhh......has anyone seen my summer?  I have no idea where it went.  It's the end of July already?  Eeeeeep.  Well, we are all hanging in there at the Patrick house so far.  I've been fighting some kind of allergy/sneezy/stuffy nose thing.  I'm going to finally take the advice of the hubby and see the doctor about some possible allergy tests or what not.  SIGH.  Annoying.  I know, I know....it could be worse.  I'll quit whining.  Things that are making me happy right now.....these teeny tiny, itty bitty floral paintings!  I got nine of them done last week, and they make me squeal with delight!!  They were SO much fun to do!!!  

It's a fun challenge to take what you love doing and miniaturize (is that a word?)  I've listed them in my Etsy shop...I think there are a few left, if you want to take a peek, click HERE.  A BIG THANKS to all of you who are giving artists your business in unconventional ways this summer.  With the shows all being cancelled, it's been a strange new way to hustle, for sure.  So, thanks.

 Other things bringing me joy......
1) diminished humidity, so I can sit on the patio and write this note to you, while hanging out with my silly dogs.
2) coffee
3) my bright yellow nails.  Whoa!  They almost blind ya, but they are a blast!  Ha!
What little things are bringing you joy these days?

I'll pop in again soon and show you a project I'm hoping to finish up for my Mama this week!
Stay tuned!!!!


Around Here

Happy Thursday morning, friends!  Thought I would pop in ever so quickly to say hi, check in, and send you some virtual hugs/high fives if you could use them!  We are already halfway through July, and I seriously have no idea how that happened.  The weeks are so long, but they are also flying by...it's all very strange.  Well, around the Patrick house, we are all doing fine.  Last I checked with my (grown) kiddos, they are staying healthy and well, and so are we.  I've been a little under the weather the past week (no worries, just a summer cold...but aren't they the worst?), so I'm behind in everything work related.  Don't even get me started on housekeeping in the studio.  It's all just been put on hold.  But I'm feeling better!  It's funny....you KNOW when you've taken a turn, don't you?  Last night I slept through the night with no fits, and actually felt like walking the dogs....so all better!

 One of my accomplishments this week was finally updating the Etsy shop with postcards and notecards!  You can find them HERE.  Several new styles, and refilled some of the classics.  I'm particularly excited about the "circle" notecards...they are reproductions of paintings from my Burn Bright show this past spring.  I have been having so much fun sending notes to friends I can't currently be with....and I LOVE seeing a colorful note in my mailbox.  It just makes my day!

If you've met my hubby, you know how lucky I am.  He really is one of the sweetest.  I was feeling down in the dumps earlier this week, and he brought me these!  I just had to share.  I'm OBSESSED with flowers lately.  OBSESSED.  Painting them, drawing them, growing them, gushing over them.  They are bringing us so much joy.  I'm happy to report that my gladiola experiment on the south side of the house is now paying off.  They are starting to bloom!  I'll share pics of those next time.  

I am also finding so much joy in my furry pals, Callie Mae (shown above in a rare moment of rest) and Bosco.  Callie Mae has been with us almost a year now.  She is a rescue lab, approximately 3 years old.  She was a mama once upon a time.  But now, she lives a life of leisure....and she literally takes delight in everything.  This girl is wagging her tail ALL THE TIME.  She's so happy just to be alive.  She has brought so much joy and laughter to our home.  Now we can't imagine life without her.  

I hope you are also finding joy in the little things, appreciating the small moments of bliss.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other.  We can do this.  We can make it.  Hugs, Dori

My Little Part

Hi friends.  Words are failing me these days.  There's so much hurt going on, it all seems rather overwhelming.  I don't have the words.  All I know to do is move my hands.  That's how I cope and find a way forward.....by working it out through scribbling or cutting or painting. Lately, it's also included digging in the dirt and moving plants around, much to their dismay. 

 So I'll just keep doing that.  And I'm going to try to keep my heart open.  And listen more.  We can all be better at this human stuff...including and especially me.  I've given myself the goal of reaching out to at least one person I care about each day.  Let them know they matter and I'm glad they are here.  Sometimes with a text, maybe a note, flowers, I don't know.  I'm going to TRY to put some good shit out there everyday because God knows we need it right now.  Sending you love, Dori

Trio of Abstracts

Good morning pals!!!  Happy Monday!  Another week on the way!  What are you up to?  Here at the casa, the hubby and I are tackling little home projects here and there.  For me, more planting, weeding and mulching in one of our back retaining walls.  For him, cleaning out a long neglected closet so that I may expand my art storage in the office!  Hooray!  Nothing is done, and everything is halfway completed.  But we are making progress.  That counts for something, right? With the cool weather, we will likely work on it a bit here and there throughout the week.  This afternoon is going to be a FULL ON STUDIO DAY for me.  I'm itching to get my hands in some paint again, and I have a couple of special orders to complete.

Just thought I'd pop in and show you this trio.  I actually created the paintings a few weeks ago, and then found myself at a loss of what to do with them.  So they floundered and hung around the studio for a while before I figured it out!  

They measure 6"x6" and are done on this FABULOUS handmade paper I found when we were in Paris last year.  Heavy, textured, gorgeous cotton paper with a deckled edge.  I finally figured out, while perusing my frame collection, that I could mount the little paintings on a larger board (8"x8") and pop them into these graphic black frames I had on hand.  Bingo!  

The black frame is just what they needed to become cohesive, and to "pop", as they say in the biz. 
I listed them over the weekend, and they found their forever home....all three together!  Feeling so happy!  I mailed them off this morning. 

Some of these closeups give you an idea of the heavy texture in the paper, which I find so yummy!!!
Now the trick will be to avoid treating this paper as "precious" and just get back to slapping paint on a few new pieces!  Onward!  Have a wonderful week, friends!  

Oh, I almost forgot, I received official word this morning that Artfest Midwest in Des Moines has been cancelled due to covid19.  It's the right choice...the safe choice....but I know it was a tough choice.  I will miss seeing my Des Moines friends!!  But I look forward to seeing you next year!  Cheers, and make it a great day!  -Dori

Journal Spread Sharing on Hump Day

Good morning friends!  Happy Hump Day!  Has it been chilly where you are lately?  Here in Iowa, the nights have still been dipping down into the 30's and 40's.  I actually had to cover the flowers at the end of last week, due to a frost warning.  I'm hoping we are "over the hump" now.  I've still been working on planting/moving plants/weeding.  I try to do a little each day so it's not so exhausting and infuriating.....ha!!!  Today, I'll be picking up some dirt from a neighbor and filling in a shady bed that has eroded over time.  I'm still staying fairly busy in the studio, with some special orders, etc.  

Today I thought I'd share some pics of a journal spread I did a couple of weeks ago.  This is an old altered book....a discarded library book, picked up really cheap at a sale.  As you can see, I love me some color, and mark making!  Hope you have a wonderful day, and fabulous finish to your week.
Cheers, Dori