Tooray! Winner of Soul Comfort Class!!

We totally pushed pause on buzzing about our other give-away for the excitement of the Soul Comfort class give-away.  So be sure to check that out as this one’s ending…you can win some awesome ephemera!!  And we’ll be back tomorrow to share a sneak peek at what’s in that awesomitacular collection!!

Hosting this give-away has been terribly rewarding…I have totally loved all of the comments and feedback about what everyone does as comfort to the soul.

Originally, I had all kinds of reasons for wanting to host this.  I loved the thought of being involved in drumming up excitement for a class from Brave Girls’ Club…I guess you could say I’m kind of a fan girl 🙂  I was so excited about being a part of that!

You know what I found, though?  Brave Girls’ Club devised such a beautiful way to share their own successes and excitement.  They offered out the classes for the other bloggers to give away, FOR FREE!!  I know, it seems like it was a great way to get other bloggers to reach out to their own followings and spread the news of the new class, but really.  Brave Girls’ Club has a way bigger following than does St John Studios.  And when I asked to be a part of the whole give-away blog fest, they didn’t say “Oh, no, your blog is way too small.”  They didn’t tell me I don’t have enough of my own subscribers.  They were totally positive and delightful and then pushed my blog out on their own messages to send people to this blog to enter the contest!!

Talk about sharing in the success!  We have had such an amazing boost in traffic and interaction and lovies from people who might not have run into our blog otherwise!

And I get the joy of giving away a spot in their new class!!!

Talk about paying it forward, about spreading joy and love, about helping others, about building up other artists.

I can’t thank them enough.  I can only profess here, publicly, that I so love and appreciate Brave Girls’ Club and Melody and Kathy for their precious gift.  Thank you.

Alright, so on with the WINNER!!!

Random Number 2Autumne Horan Sep 17, 9:04 am

When I hear the words soul comfort I think about being deeply rooted in the ground, I think of being empathic of myself, self care, and being gentle with myself. I have post traumatic stress disorder and spent the summer in trauma treatment centre, soul comfort would help me with the transition from this centre to home, self care, connection to self, and self love.


Tooray! 2

Please drop me an email Autumne to verify your email and other details so that Kathy can get your spot in the class all set up.  Congratulations!!

I do hope that those of you who are new to St John Studios will come back.  You can follow the blog and get wind of new posts and goings-on around here by subscribing over at the left.  You can also find our FB page and follow us there, we’d love to see you!

And don’t forget to come back tomorrow to see the sneak peek of our AWESOME ephemera pack!  It will be fun Art Fodder™ to use in your Soul Comfort class 🙂

We’re Hosting a Give-Away to the New Brave Girls’ Club Course, Soul Comfort

Hot dog!

I have the honor of sharing with you the details of a FABULOUS class starting next week…Tuesday September 24…with Brave Girls’ Club!!!

Do you ever have one of those surreal moments, where you look around and wonder how something this groovy happened?  I was at work, pouting pretty much cuz I couldn’t play hookey and paint all day…when I found out I was going to be sharing with you such a super-cool opportunity…that I get to give away an artsy-journaling class!!!

I shared with you earlier this summer new of a meaningful class I was taking with Brave Girls’ Club here, and then finished up the summer sharing with you the cover to the book I worked on throughout the class (check it out here).

And now Brave Girls’ Club has a new class coming, next week!!  And I am honored to share with you an incredible opportunity, to win a spot in the class!

Outstanding 🙂  And we will be holding the drawing, a random winner chosen out of the comments left on this very post…it could be any one of you, just leave a comment below answering this question:

What do you think of when you hear the words “Soul Comfort”?

WOO-HOO!!!  Here’s some class details:

To the tired, the exhausted, the overstretched…here’s an invitation…

Life can be simple.

What if we celebrated the brave act of….taking a break?

What if simplicity,
comfort, and quiet were the goal?

What if there really was a way to quiet the chatter in our minds and let us recharge our body & soul?

And what if it was fun, too?

Introducing a new eCourse . . .

Soul Comfort

Soul Comfort is a fresh new concept using art and journaling as a means to relax and comfort yourself and to get grounded while dealing with the craziness of every-day living.

This course if full of beautiful projects to fuel your creativity in very simple and easy ways that are meditational and relaxing , beautiful comforting things that will have your soul infused into them so that you want to keep them forever.

Brave Girls Club - Melody RossMelody (course creator and teacher) says, “I want to teach you some new habits of creativity mixed with simplicity that I have learned over the years. Being a recovering hoarder of supplies and techniques, this is really a new way to give yourself permission to do things simply but beautifully.

One of the most wonderful things about this course is that everything fits into one fabric tote bag . . . I wanted to create a whole course where all of the supplies fit into a tiny space so that you could take it everywhere you go…so that you could do it sitting on your bed, on your couch, with your family, do it with your children, in the car, wherever your day takes you. It’s incredible. This has changed my life. This has been something that I have used on my own and I can’t wait to share it with you.”

Brave Girls Club - Soul Comfort - Melody, Patrice, Kathy

You can count on this class to be . . .

  • enlightening, enjoyable, fun, & simple
  • customizable with many choices to fit your exact style
  • interactive, encouraging, and supportive with a private community on Facebook and weekly live chats
  • a beautiful experience that will help you relax, simplify, and enjoy your life 
  • a place to learn simple new ways to journal, plus the  ”Brave Girl” way to use stitching and such to create both beautiful things you’ll love AND peaceful relaxing moments
  • a place to learn exactly what nourishes YOUR body and soul, and how to fit comforting rituals into your day
  • something that you can finish without feeling overwhelmed
  • produced with the level of caring and  excellence and attention to detail that Brave Girls Club is known for

Brave Girls Club - Soul Comfort Stitchery

We’ve worked to narrow down things to quench the yearning of your soul…to be able to be creative but also to be sensitive to the mess that it makes and the time that it takes as well as the brain space it takes for complicated tools and  techniques. We will teach you fun ways to make beautiful things while relaxing yourself . . .and we’ll be participating in the class right along with you.

  • This will be relaxing, fun, and simple
  • You’ll be able to take it along with you, everywhere you go
  • Instead of overwhelming you with one  more thing to stress out about, this eCourse will help you relax, enjoy, and feel comfort and peace no matter what else is going on in your life.

Brave Girls Club - Go Create Something stitchery

It is YOUR time for some Soul Comfort. Come join us!

        • Supply List – simple, inexpensive supplies
        • Register Here – tuition $99
        • Class begins September 24. Access the online classroom through January 2, 2014.
        • Divided into 4 segments, with a new one released every two weeks to give you lots of space to breathe.

Brave Girls Club - Soul Comfort journal prompts

Remember: Leave a comment below, answering the question,

What do you think of when you hear the words “Soul Comfort”?

We will choose the random winner Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 9 a.m. PST.

A Little Bit of Pen Love

After the whirlwind of Valentine posts, I got a little blog shy…or maybe just a bit blog tired…

And after my totally planned set of posts and projects for the holiday, I found myself playing with several projects, not really getting any one thing completed.  I just went kind of scatter-brained!

I do have some upcoming fun stuff to share, I’m almost finished with a gratitude journal made out of paint chips, a couple of junk journals, and some fun doodle-paintings on music paper.

I also spent the last couple of evenings with my now 8-year old girlie, making foam stamps and practicing origami.  I must say, I really suck at the whole origami thing, though.  She’s way better than I, and she thinks she needs to look at me to direct her, poor baby.

Home is Where My Heart Is 2


So, today’s bit of goodness, a bit of advisement for those of you that like to use pens on top of other layers.  I’ve had a running conversation with some good folks on fb, on Art of Wild Abandonment 2 (class via Christy Tomlinson and Junelle Halstrom Jacobsen), and it always seems to come back to the question of what kind of pen do I use to draw on NeoColors II (you can check out some my other ramblings on these little sweeties here):

My fave fave fave pen is the Pilot Uni-ball Vision.  It’s waterproof once it sets, it comes in different colors (although I mostly use black), it’s fine point, and it’s readily available at most office supply stores.  And maybe Wal Mart.

The waterproof thing is super important for me, cuz along with always remembering something else I wanted to add to my project after doodling, I am left-handed, and I drag my own hand through whatever I write…thereby smearing my own handwriting.  Constantly.

Now, no matter how awesome the pen, you still have to keep a couple of things in mind when you’re doodling all over your other stuff.  Gel pens and liquid roller ball pens work, but they can get all gunked up with the wax-y color from the wax crayons.

So, first, if you really wait long enough to let your colors dry all the way and set a bit, it will be easier.  I know that’s easier said than done, I’m totally impatient and mess with stuff way before it’s totally dry.  Try not to go too fast with the pen (tough for me when I’m doodling!).  Keep a scratch pad nearby, and you can scribble on it to get the wax or gunk or paint or whatever off of the tip and start doodling again.  And keep a light hand, if you press too hard, it’s way easier to get the ball or the tip all blocked with gunk.

When I am not feeling way too impatient to get to the doodling, I actually will stop and spray the project with clear, matte polyurethane.  It dries fast, and then you can do more work right on top of that.  It keeps a bit of a tooth.  You can doodle, use more paint, more NeoColors, do shading, glue more stuff on, and you don’t mess up what’s underneath.  And you can wipe a mark off if you’re quick, if you decide you don’t like the mark you just made.

Again, I’m not often patient enough to stop and do the step of spraying.  On my larger projects, like canvases, I do this step.

Now I’m off to a Friday night date with the hubby and kidlets…we’re going to JoAnn’s, I have a coupon!!!  I get to walk around one of my fave stores, holding hands with the hubs, looking at art supplies.  Doesn’t get much better than that 🙂

Have a great weekend, and let us know in the comments section if you have good tips on pens, what you like to use, how you cope with goo getting in the way!

Home is Where My Heart Is


Gifts from God, a Journal Page

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

~ Romans 12:12

I played a bit further with the ideas from the “Sketching my Breakfast” art journal pages, and Ithen I moved along to the next video in my class…which took all the sketching to a new journal page.

Although I had sketched coffee cups and muffins, my next project turned into cuppie cakes.

The kiddos one-by-one came along and asked me to make cuppie cakes just like the ones in my page, they looked so yummy!  I guess you know you’re successful when…right??

One of the most fun parts of this fun, luscious little project is the “canvas” part of the page.  In our class, Miss Junelle told us that she likes to gesso together book pages before she uses them as a place to sketch and watercolor…

Now, I use lots of old book pages for lots of things, but I simply couldn’t wrap my head around the way she kept saying that she gesso’d three book pages together.  I listened to her on the video like 5 times, trying to see if that’s what she really meant.

Well, let me tell you, that’s what it was all about!  I pulled out some of my extra book pages and gesso’d them together (I would normally Mod Podge them).  And to my delight, not only did it work, but it gave the paper canvas this wonderful feel, and crunch, and texture.  Nothing like the stiffness and bendy that comes from Mod Podging the whole thing together!

What a dream!  And not only is the texture awesome, but the edges are really easy to fray up a bit, adding to the look and feel of tattered pages.

I love it!!










Prompt: Try using old book pages as a canvas…you can gesso the pages together to make a thicker batch to work on.  NeoColors work wonderfully on the gesso’d pages!  And if you haven’t read my Ode to NeoColors, check it out for some fun ways to use water-soluble wax crayons!

Sketching My Breakfast, in My Little Red Journal

Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

~ Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Can you believe we’re working our way to Thanksgiving??

The time is passing by so quickly, sometimes I wish that I could apply the brakes and slow it all down, just a bit.  I look so forward to the holiday season throughout the year…I love this time of year!  I love all the baking, the wind, the promise of snow, and Christmas music.  I love planning yummy dinners of potato soup and stew and spaghetti with the kidlets.  I love the smell of Christopher baking fresh bread of all kinds.  I love making new cookie recipes.

I have also started part 2 of a class I took in the spring, The Art of Wild Abandonment (I did blog about it during the first round of the class, you can find other posts in under “workshops” and “classes”).  This one is called Wild Art 2, Bless This Mess.  You can take a look at the class over at Christy Tomlison’s.  The guest teacher is the charming and inspiring Junelle Hallstrom Jacobsen.  Ahhhhh, I have been so excited about this class, I thought it would never get here!!

The one area in my arting where I seem to flounder is in the courage to sketch more.  I have been working on getting over my reticence, but it is so helpful for me to be participating in a class where we sketch a lot, while working up journal pages.  And I love being able to participate in the group setting on facebook, seeing all of the wonderful interpretations and sketching by the other class members!

I have been only slowly getting into the videos, as I am behind on everything it seems these days.  It’s already working, though…my pencil is moving, I am sketching and remembering that I actually can draw something that is recognizable, lol!

So here we go, my first project from the class, sketching my breakfast (which is tough for me, as so often my breakfast ends up being coffee as I herd the kidlets into classes!).  I put this one into my little red book of art journaling, which I started during the spring’s class.

I have started other projects, and I have a couple of newer canvases I’ll be bringing in to share with you soon.  I also get to play with some new paints and fill out a questionnaire on what I think of them…so fun, I got free paint samples in the mail, and someone really wants to know what I think of them 🙂

Lots going on…all tied in with trying to get to my Christmas projects and cards, baking cookies, playing with the kids, and teaching Sunday school (did I tell you that I took on a Sunday school class?)…


HUGE Blog Hop and A Cool Idea for How to Decorate an Old Accessory

Happy Saturday All!

Now it’s time for something a little bit different…

If you are following the Art of Wild Abandonment Bloghop, you have probably come here from Marsa Fisher’s blog.

I have been posting and telling you throughout the last month or so about the fun-filled online class over at Christy Tomlinson’s, The Art of Wild Abandonment. I have had such a blast throughout the class, from the terrific teaching style of Junelle Hallstrom Jacobsen, to the wonderfully supportive, interactive, and inspirational group of gals on the Facebook class group.

I have stretched myself artistically throughout the class, which I think is what we all strive for when we take any kind of creative class. I have mimicked the projects throughout the class, sort of my way of learning, and have then infused what I have learned and what has inspired me into my own art. I never enjoyed sketching anything out before I got going with this class, and I am most thankful for that gift…

So as you hop through this awesome and wonderful blog hop, filled with visits to some of the other gals from the class, my hope is that you will get to feel some of the joy that everyone has been having!

Now I’m going to share with you my most recent project from the class, which actually came from one of Christy’s videos. We took an old wallet or purse or some such thing and breathed new life into by covering it in art!

This was a particularly fun project for me, cuz although I make fun stuff for other people to use and to wear, I hadn’t been carrying around something with ME that showcases some of my art. Now I have something that will go with me everywhere and will add a little brightness and artsy-ness to my travels. AND it’s my everything-keeper, it holds business cards and business fliers that I carry with me…and my business life is not typically related to my art life, my business life sometimes gets a little bit dry! What fun to add some color to that realm…

It also has particular meaning for me, in that one side of the case has an element that we will eventually work into our logo…a hand-carved stamp that my Christopher’s mom made many years ago in her art studio. Christopher actually helped me fill in some of the ink on the impression that didn’t come out all of the way!

A couple of tips for you: The first layer is tissue paper, stamped with black ink and the Chinese lettering. I wasn’t totally sure that it would give me the tooth that it needed, or that it would stay on the fabulous faux pleather under it, but Christy was right!! It really did stick, and it really did give a great canvas on which to keep adding stuff. It also took a lot more layers of the tissue paper than I originally expected…the black was so deep and so dark, the white tissue paper would just disappear into the black. I might have gesso’d the whole thing to help with that, but I had already started Mod Podging everything down. So I just built up the layers of tissue paper and that did the trick. Then it really was just like working on a canvas or art journal page, even if a bit squishier (the cover of the card case is padded).

There you have it…it actually looks like some of my art journal pages, just a working piece of art that will go with me now (Christopher did bury the whole thing in a clear varnish so that dirt and finger oil and so forth won’t absorb into the artwork).

Make sure you continue along the blog hop, on to Jan Richies blogJan Richie’s blog

If you haven’t yet visited the rest of the bloghop, why not join in the fun by visiting the first stop at Claire Smillie.

Super Exciting and Giant Blog Hop is Here Tomorrow!!

Join us for the fun, in The Art of Wild Abandonment Blog Hop!!

I’m a Winner, a Blog Hop, and Some More of My Latest Obsession, Paint Chip Cards

Goodness, it seems today is a day of all kinds of tidbits!!

First of all, I’m a WINNER!!

I know, I know, seems like with all of my affirmation-style and positive message artsy stuff that maybe I shouldn’t be thinking this is actually news-worthy, but I tell you, this couldn’t have happened at a more serendipitous time, as I’ve been battling some of my own negativities this week.

You may have visited the lovely blog, Campfire Chic, but I have only recently “discovered” Kam’s wonderful and inspiring blog (if you haven’t visited as of yet, be sure to do so, it is chock full of coolness!).  She has monthly sponsors, and for April, one of the sponsors is Indie Chic, a shop of the most feminine and darling flower and other nature jewelry.  And yours truly won a pack of this awesome jewelry!!  My girls are going to totally fight me for the joy of wearing these lovelies, lol.

Thank you so verily much to Kam at Campfire Chic and to Samantha at Indie Chic, you totally made my day week April!!

Next item on the agenda, before we get to pics of my latest obsession, is an upcoming blog hop.  I’ve told you a couple of times (you can check out my first post about the class if you haven’t already) about the online workshop I’ve been taking, The Art of Wild Abandonment.  The class has been one of the most inspiring, exciting, and fun classes I’ve taken as of yet.  Even more inspiring has been the participation of all the others taking the class and the sharing and friendships running around during the class, all shared on our Facebook group (joining Facebook is a whole new gig for me, not just the sketching!).  I have been privy to such much amazing art by lots of amazing people that I never would have met otherwise…

We are having a Blog Hop this Saturday, and you’ll really want to follow along and check out these amazing talents.  We will start at midnight my time here in Reno (holy cow!), which is timed with the start of the blog hop at 8 a.m. British Standard Time…I did have to look that up on the interwebs!  You can jump over here, I will have my post up, and I will give you the before and after landing spots.  I will also show you where to go if you want to start at the beginning of the whole shindig.  It’s a great way to make some discoveries of your own in the art blogosphere.

Now for the Paint Chip Cards!

Okay, last order of business, I have been creating some more of these little artworks on the paint chip sample cards.  Can’t seem to get enough of them!  Along with my other regular projects, I have been so inspired by my recent joining of a RAAK group (Random Acts of Art Kindness).  The thrill of making something and sending to someone on the list that I’ve never met, that has never met me, oh, I am just so excited to send a little card in the mail to them!  I haven’t had penpals since grade school!  This has been the most fun, and way more of an inspiration than I ever imagined it would be (how many times can you talk about inspiration in one blog post??)!

So here’s a peek at my latest cards:

Prompt: Have you ever executed a RAAK?  You know, it doesn’t have to be in a formalized membership group, you can commit an act of art kindness anytime, anywhere!  Make something lovely, something you like, and send it to someone…in the MAIL!!  We so often use texting, phone calls, twitter, Facebook, etc. that we forget how much fun it is to get something in the mail!  Or leave a surprise piece of artsy goodness on a table somewhere to a stranger!  It feels great!  Spread the artsy love 🙂

Welcome to My Art Fodder Nest

Each thought that is welcomed and recorded is a nest egg, by the side of which more will be laid.

~ Henry David Thoreau

Thanks to all of you that stopped by and offered some love and support for Ally on Saturday’s post (if you missed it, please do take a peek, she is so thrilled to be participating in the giant art community out there…she’s so heartfelt and sincere with her sharing of her project!).

Spring break is over for us, as it is for most of you now.  Here in Reno, spring is a subjective thing.  We actually had some snow over the weekend!  We’re trying to be patient…we do have a few flowers starting to bloom here and there, but not much yet.  The birds are singing and visiting and beginning to build their nests.  Little bunny rabbits are running around all over the neighborhood.  Spring is coming, even if a bit slowly for us.

I’m definitely itching for the warmer weather.  I love spending the spring afternoons tromping around with the kidlets, snapping pics of the flowers and budding trees and the critters.  I’m ready.

This weekend I worked on a project from the online class that I’m finishing up.  The theme is building an art nest, a visual representation of all the things that we, as artists, go out and collect, and then bring back to use in our art.  That means not only actual pieces of art fodder, like bits of treasure and art supplies and so forth, but more importantly, those pieces of experiences and inspirations on an esoteric level.  Like seeing the bunnies running across the backyard…like the quail sitting under the pine trees, looking for seeds and then moving from house to house in the neighborhood as the sun sets…like the golden eagles swooping down from the mountain behind our house, gliding around each other in circles as they descend to find the critters on the valley floor…

This canvas now hangs proudly on the end wall in my art space, right next to the canvas I made for my note board.  So often I’m creating for gifts or for commissioned work or for sale, but this time these two canvases I made just for me…and I love looking at them, and feeling inspired by them.

Prompt: What do you collect for your art nest?

Loverly Note Board for My Studio Wall

Knowledge is love and light and vision.

~ Helen Keller

This weekend I worked on a combination vision board + note board for my studio wall (this is another inspired project from the online workshop Art of Wild Abandonment that I told you about in my earlier post about Permissions in Art).

I’m still working a bit on some photos to add into the little pocket.  One of the really great things about this board is that I can change what’s in the burlap pocket and what hangs from the knotted string on the side.

I can use this board to display art supplies that are on my wish list.  Or I can use it to hang clippings or photos of things that go on my vision board.  Or to hang motivational quotes.  Or…well, really anything that I want to visually motivate me in my art space.  I just love the adaptability of the board, since sometimes what my goal is changes a bit.  It works for the very short-term motivators.

I also had a great time adding little bits of lovelies to the board.  I grabbed little things that I have had in my stash, little things that have just been waiting for the perfect project…little things that I love, and I finally found the perfect place to put so many of them together!

For example, the background is a vintage linen napkin that I found at a garage sale for $0.10.  I love the simple beauty, and I love painting on linen.  And the day that we went to that garage sale was a day chock full of junking with my hubby and the kids in tow.  We had a terrific time out in the sunshine, looking through old junk.  The tags in the pocket are tags I made using flower petals from Valentine’s Day 2011 and ink and embossing powders.  The pink flower is from one of my daughters’ pony tail holders that fell apart.  They’re all little tidbits of memories and great times.  They go wonderfully with my notes of important ideas…

So often I’m making projects for gifts or as commissioned works, but so rarely do I make something all just for me, to hang in my own space, just do I can look at it.  This was a loverly little project with no one else in mind, just me, just for my own inspiration.  Do you remember to do that occasionally?

I do have some final touches in mind, a few things I want to tuck into the pocket and clip onto the knotted string.  I also have a sentiment on a card that I’m going to attach onto the little frame at the bottom of the pocket, but you get the idea.  It’s a living artwork.

I did get some work done on another heavily-textured-caulk-in-the-background canvas I’ve been working on, can’t wait to share that with you when it’s finished up.  I am working on hand-tooling the text that will be ultimately on the canvas, so that’ll come later.

Prompt:  Where do you find tidbits of art fodder?  Garage sales, flea markets, your kids’ playroom, craigslist (these are some of my faves)?