Documented Life Project- Week 45

The challenge of week 45 in the Documented Life Project was to: “Add a tab.”

I drew a picture with graphite pencils of part of my computer with the “tab” key showing and then glued the cover and tab pages from an old pocket sized planner to the page.

DLP-Week 45-Tab-J



My Hubby hates it when I leave tabs open on the the computer. He told me it’s like all the lights being on in the house. While I don’t exactly agree with him, I thought his quote was perfect for this challenge. I used a graphite pencil and colored pencil to draw for my page.

DLP-Week 45-Tabs-M


Our First Expo November 15, 2014


Mom got back from New York, and we got busy right away preparing for in a Tickle’s first craft show/expo.

We will be going to Kansas City Saturday, November 15, 2014. If you are in the area, we would love for you to stop by.

The Expo will be held at Blue Springs Assembly to benefit their Early Childhood Department. Check out the info on the facebook page.

doll carrier

We have all kinds of great products from Children’s lovies and doll carriers to hair accessories and jewelry. We have a little something for everyone!

We would love to see you there!

Documented Life project- Week 44

The art challenge for week 44 of the Documented Life Project was to: “Incorporate leaves (real or drawn/painted) onto your page in a creative way.”


Last spring I bought some new plants for a flower garden and was fascinated with the look of the leaves on the herb plant with the funny name of Rue. I had never heard of it or seen it. I was told by the clerk it was a plant that helped ward off mosquitoes, so I was sold! It grew but never produced the small yellow flowers shown on the card that came with it. Maybe they don’t grow in the first year. Here it is in my flower bed. Since I have recently done other challenges using leaves (here, and here, and here, and here), I wanted to do something different to do with these leaves.


While watching my grandkids play outside, I started sketching some sprigs of my rue plant with pencil. I then colored them with watercolor pencils and used a black fine point Pitt pen to draw around the leaves. For the final touch, I brushed the back of the rue sprigs with mod-podge and stuck them onto the page. I covered the whole page and the tops of the leaves with a final coat of mod-podge to help preserve the leaves.




I recently had a birthday, and My Hubby gave me one of the best presents I could get, a whole day to do whatever I wanted! So in the afternoon, I took about 45 minutes at the local coffee shop and worked on some drawing. I didn’t want to draw a normal tree leaf, so I started looking through pinterest for some inspiration. I thought about Basil because it is one of my favorite herbs. I found a picture of a tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil appetizer. In one of the Derwent Academy challenges, I had to draw a shell using just dots, called stippling or pointillism. I thought it would be a good challenge for me to try doing that again with this drawing. (Gotta love when you realize you have a typo after you’ve already taken a picture. Mozarella, mozzarella. I always get that one wrong.)


Documented Life Project- Week 43

The art challenge for the Documented Life Project for week 43 was to: “Sketch what you see right now.”

Usually when the challenge is issued (on Saturdays), I read it but don’t always have opportunity to start the challenge right away. However, my brain always starts working on figuring out what I am going to do. I usually have a mental image of what I want my project to look like by the time I start actually working on it. So when I read the challenge but couldn’t start on anything at that moment, I felt like I would be cheating when I sat down to “sketch what I saw right now” if I allowed myself time to “plan” mentally. When I finally had opportunity to sketch, I decided to sit on the couch and draw something in the living room. The end of the old trunk I use as a coffee table caught my eye.

Antique Trunk

So I sketched the end of my trunk with graphite drawing pencils and a red colored pencil for the lettering.


It’s not often that I wake up before my kiddos, but this particular morning they slept in. I got the coffee started and sat down at the table. I wanted to do a rough sketch and not spend a whole lot of time on it since I knew my time alone would be short. I used colored pencils to draw my bowl of pumpkins.


Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?

I found a place that definitely has the button. Tucked away in a narrow brick building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan is an amazing shop named Tender Buttons that claims to be the “only shop in American devoted entirely to the sale of buttons.”

Tender Buttons Store

For someone who loves to sew and also loves antiques, just stepping in the door feels like you are entering a magical place. I took my little Songbird (wearing her baby doll in the carrier I made for her) on an adventure to check it out.

Tender Buttons Store

One wall of the 12 1/2 foot wide shop is filled with boxes and boxes of every color and kind of button imaginable from all over the world.

Boxes of Buttons

In the center of the shop are antique tables and chairs for your comfort in making decisions about the best buttons for your project.

Tender Buttons Store

In the entry and along the right wall are hundreds of antique buttons from around the world displayed museum style, but even those buttons are for sale as well.

Antique Buttons- Tender Buttons Store

Next time you are in New York City, head to 62nd Street just off Lexington Avenue and visit Tender Buttons. You can read more about the shop at their website.

After you’ve visited the Tender Button shop, you can head straight across the street and enjoy a cup of coffee from the newest Birch Coffee location. We’re a little partial because Songbird’s daddy is the owner of Birch Coffee!

Birch Coffee NYCBirch Coffee NYCBirch Coffee Shop NYC

NYC Marathon 2014

Do you like to run? I mean as in running just to run, not as in being chased or trying to catch something? I had the honor of being in NYC this past weekend when around 50,000 people ran because they like to run– and that was only a small percentage of people who try to get a spot the race but don’t get in. It amazes me! I don’t like to run. I really tried to like it years ago after college when we had a good friend living with us for a few weeks. He was a runner training for the Olympics. He inspired us to get up and run every morning. It didn’t stick. Or maybe I did not stick with it long enough to start liking it. But I do admire those who set a goal, train to reach the goal, and run the race.

My daughter, Kara, who likes to run, gave birth to her second child in the spring, started training on her own in July, and ran in the 2014 NYC Marathon on Sunday. I am so proud of her perseverance and determination to commit to the hours and miles of training and then to accomplish the goal. Pretty amazing that she could run 26.2 miles at one time, but equally amazing that she has run about 400 miles since July! She did inform me that not all people who run necessarily like running, but they like setting a goal and accomplishing it.

NYC Marathon Race Map

NYC Marathon Race Map

NYC Marathon 2014

About Mile 17

NYC Marathon Finisher 2014


NYC Marathon 2014 Metal

People of all ages and abilities participate in the marathon. When you watch people racing down the street in wheelchairs, and with various other physical challenges, you can’t help but be inspired. I loved the story of one lady running the race. Margaret Hagerty is 91 years old and this marathon was her 81st marathon! That’s pretty amazing in itself, but she did not even start running until she was 64 years old. She was told she needed to stop smoking and get moving. So she started running down her street. After the first day, she determined to run by four houses the next day. She ended up running in marathons on all seven continents! You can watch an interview with her below. The last update I saw was at just over 24 miles and I haven’t heard what her final was yet.

So what is it that you would like to do? You don’t have to run a marathon but you need the mindset of those who do. Train, take lessons, practice, practice, practice, and just keep learning, stretching, and growing in your abilities. Pretty soon you will accomplish your goal!

If you do want to run a marathon, my daughter highly recommends this book, The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer, by Whitsett, Dolgener, and Kole.

Fall Crafter–Julie Hume with Encaustic Painting

It can be easy after you have seen several booths of paintings to look for a minute then move on, but when we stopped by Julie Hume’s booth at the Silver Dollar City Harvest Festival, our interest was piqued more as we realized the technique was new to us. We saw the sign that said “Encaustic painting,” and mom said she had seen something about that recently but wasn’t sure what it was.

We started talking to Julie and her passion for the style was obvious as she explained her technique and how she came to do it.

Julie Hume Encaustic Artist


Encaustic painting has been around since the Egyptians.

On a handout from Julie it says, “The ancient art of encaustic painting involves applying melted wax colored with pigments to a wood panel or other surface. The wax is applied using various methods and tools, including brushes, metal scrapers and carving instruments, to shape the wax before it cools. The wax is heated between each application to fuse it and make it stable. A blow-torch, heat gun or heat light can be used to blend or move the wax to achieve the desired effect.”

Julie was introduced to encaustic painting over 40 years ago. She attended a demonstration by someone who did this kind of painting, but didn’t like the abstract way it was done. She decided to try it out and see if she could do it with more detail.

Encaustic Art Julie Hume

When Julie first started playing around with this technique, she used her kids crayons for the wax. They weren’t too happy about that and were probably quite pleased when she discover beeswax was a better option. She also does her own blends of color even though there are more wax options available these days. Julie Hume Explains Encaustic Art
Though hard to convey in a photograph, Julie’s encaustic are beautifully detailed in a way that seems impossible with just wax and heat. She carves out her detail, and with patience and a willingness to change directions from her original plan, ends with a unique, beautiful finished piece of art. She says the real trick is that “you just have to know when to stop.”

You can contact Julie by visiting her website, or by visiting her Etsy page.

Documented Life Project- Week 42

The art challenge for the Documented Life Project for week 42 was : “Stars”.

I’ve been trying to add more watercolor practice into my creative exercises and decided to make a watercolor galaxy filled with stars for this challenge. While the paint was wet I sprinkled course salt onto the paint and let it dry. The salt absorbs the pigment in the paint creating lighter areas of paint around the salt crystals. When the salt dried, I brushed it off to reveal my stars in the galaxy.

Watercolor Galaxy and Stars


I used star cookie cutters in three sizes to draw my stars. Each size is a different color drawn with Micron pens. After I drew the outline I added the scribble lines to give my stars some texture.


Fall Crafter- Darla Zook with Watercolor

I am fascinated with watercolor paintings. When we met Darla Zook at the Harvest Festival at Silver Dollar City this fall, she was bubbling over with enthusiasm to share her love of watercolor. She truly exuded something Melinda and I discovered last year when we interviewed several crafters and that was a love of inspiring other people to be creative. In this post Melinda shared,

The people that are truly artists, people who really love what they do, seem to want to talk and share what they do. They want you to be inspired by their art. They teach others how to do what they do. They aren’t afraid of you stealing their work because they know it takes creativity and hard work to make it happen. If you put in the time and effort, then you deserve success. People who are just trying to make money are afraid of inspiring you. They just want you to buy their stuff. I choose to create for the love of it. If I make some money off of it, that is great and helpful to my family, but if I can inspire someone to tap into their own creativity, then I have accomplished something even greater.

Darla took me from one painting to another in her booth telling me about different techniques she used in each painting and gave me tips to try using in my painting. She even told me I could come back another day (it was nearing the end of the day) and paint along with her at her booth. I told her I would love to learn from her but not sure I was ready to be painting publicly in her very prominent booth location!

Darla Zook Artist

Darla grew up on a farm in Oklahoma with a very musical family. Now with a family of her own she lives on a farm in Missouri. She received her degree in art and music education and taught art for many years in public schools before retiring to concentrate on her own art career. She has definitely retained her love of teaching others.

Her newest art endeavor is plein air painting. Plein air is a French phrase meaning “in the open air”. She explained the unique challenges of this type of painting outdoors because of the constantly changing natural light on the subject of the painting.

Painting plein air is a recent endeavor which supports her artistic theory that the earth is a living, breathing sculpture created by the Master’s hand. Every day has anticipation of light reflecting on surfaces as the sun rises over the horizon and sets in the west, making each day a unique work of art, a gift from God. Darla’s desire is to illustrate that beauty in her art. ~from Darla Zook’s website

This was Darla’s 4th year at Silver Dollar Cit’s fall Harvest Festival and if she is there next year, I just might be bold enough to take her up on the offer to spend some time painting with her at her booth. Visit her website and be inspired by her beautiful work and if you see something you like, make a purchase. She also does commissioned paintings and you can find a listing of galleries where her works can be seen. Visit


The Art of Inspiration

Inspiration is not always something that naturally begins within us.

Do you often feel stuck when it comes to starting a project?

Do you stare blankly at the page or fabric and feel absolutely uncreative?

Just because you feel this way does not mean you lack creativity within yourself. It just means you haven’t learned the art of inspiration.

Blank Page

The definition of “inspiration” is. . .
1. An inspiring or animated action or influence
2. Something inspired, as an idea
3. A result of inspired captivity

After reading these definitions, I came to understand that inspiration isn’t always a spontaneous thing. Sometimes some kind of activity is required.

If you look at the definition of “inspired,” it says it is aroused by a divine influence. It’s supernatural. That means it’s not all about YOU!

Inspiration can come as easily as an idea popping into your head. But sometimes, it requires you taking an action step. Sometimes it takes inspiration from God. You don’t have to rely solely on what YOU believe your abilities to be. Trust that what God placed in you is creative and then take a step towards discovering what brings that creativity out of you.

Each and every one of us has a different way that strikes our inspiration. You just might need to try a different method to discover yours.

Lake Inspirations

During this last year as mom and I have pursued creativity in a greater way, I have realized that it can happen in different ways for me. The more I give myself opportunity for inspiration to occur, the more I learn about what most often works best for me.

When I am feeling stuck, I often try to find or think of a particular word or quote to help give me a launching point. Words are inspirational to me because that is what I enjoy most. I love to read, and I love to write. Even though my projects aren’t always word related, thinking of a word that my project can represent gives me a place to start. If I get stuck, I just start writing or read something that interests me, and I can usually figure out something from there.

Your inspiration might be music. It might be looking at nature or pictures.
Never let yourself become so stuck that you can’t move forward. Inspiration is just an inspired activity away. Go for a walk. Turn on some music. Browse Pinterest. Do whatever it is that gets your mind out of its rut.