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It had been a “just right” kind of day. The kind where I had to get things right or else. Grown up stuff like filling out college state residency paperwork or trying to make a claim on an home appliance warranty. It wasn’t fun at all! I needed some time where things didn’t have to be “just right”. I needed art play and an O.O.P.S.!

What’s an O.O.P.S.? It’s an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly- what I used to call a mistake. The play started with this leftover piece of gel printed paper. That’s the thing about play, you can use what you have within arm’s reach.

The white paint didn’t come out the bottle well. Turns out that bottle was almost empty. O.O.P.S. The red paint didn’t look good to me. O.O.P.S. The nose was a giant O.O.P.S. that looked more like a pickle than a nose.

If 35 year old me had been making this, I would have stepped away at the red paint mistake and never would have even gotten to the nose catastrophe. That bye way would have totally shut me down back then. But what’s different now?

Now that I’ve crossed into the 50s, is it just age and wisdom? Nope. I’ve spend a lot of years figuring out specifically what blocks the play. And more importantly how to unblock it. What I discovered became the 10 Play Principles, and you know the first one, O.O.P.S.

These Play Principles are the foundation for my newest online workshop, Playful Art Journaling and the 10 Play Principles. They are to how letting go and getting rid of the noise in your head so that you can play.

If you’re interested in more spontaneity and freedom when you create, check out the workshop and the bonuses too!

Here are the supplies used. Some of these links may be affiliate links which means I get a small percentage and it doesn’t cost you anything extra! It doesn’t cost you anything extra and you get a really good feeling knowing that you are helping keep the free tutorials coming!


Do you wonder if you’re doing it right? What if you could know for absolute certain, incontrovertibly, completely and utterly, and without a shadow of a doubt, that anything, and I mean ANYTHING that you make, will be ok? When you’re playing, you can know that. How?

Because play connects you to the real you. Not the trying to please others you. Not the you that wonders if you’re worthy (you are by the way). Not the overworked you that shoulders the responsibilities so others can get what they need. The real you.

Once you’re able to connect with that place inside, that’s not the only thing that you’ll know.

Play can keep you from being stuck.

Ever start a project and it feels right, looks great but then you get to a point where the background is good and you don’t know where to go next? Play can guide you so that you always know your next step.

You never have to be paralyzed by a blank page again.

Blank pages can be scary – especially when you’re staring at it, not knowing exactly what you want to do. Or it can be so many ideas racing through your head it’s hard to decide where to start. But when you know how to play, you can get that pressure down and get started creating.

Play guides the building of layers.

Do you want to have the multilayer art journal look but find it is difficult to add something on top of what you already like? Play can gently guide you through the decisions so you can comfortably create the kinds of layers you want. A side bonus of play, is you know when to quit. When it’s the right time to stop.

Figuring out the how

Something so effortless for kids can be such a struggle for adults! But it doesn’t have to be. After all, we were kids once, so that means we know how to do it. The challenge is how to switch into a playful mode. It’s not about having the right supplies. Or using the best techniques. Or having endless hours of time. It’s about understanding play.

I didn’t always understand how to play, but 12 years ago I realized how much I needed it. Even though I had a good life, I couldn’t always feel it. There was a part of me that had gone numb but I noticed that whenever I played with my art supplies, I felt a little bit of me alive again. I had stumbled into a way to connect with myself. The real me.

Slowly, I came back to me and felt whole again. It was a very slow process filled with lots of flopping and floundering but along the way, that’s what enabled me to figure out what blocks the play and what yanks us out of that creative zone. And more importantly, HOW to do it.

What I discovered led to the ten Play Principles. Ten specific ways to reduce pressure. Pressure, in its many forms, is what keeps the play from happening.

The very first Play Principle I figured out was O.O.P.S. Whenever I would make a mistake, and I made a lot of them, I would beat myself up for screwing up. I needed a way to not take it all so seriously, to not get stuck in my head punishing myself for whatever crime against art supplies I had created. So I started saying O.O.P.S. (Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly) as a playful reminder that inside every mistake is an opportunity.

Saying O.O.P.S. lifted enough of the pressure so I could keep creating. As I figured out the remaining nine Play Principles, I realized, that while they were each very useful for reducing pressure, when all ten were used together, they were far more impactful.

I’ve had so many people ask me HOW do you let go to really play that I wanted to create a workshop to help you get there. The kind of workshop that was for all skill levels (because the only prerequisite for play is having been a kid once). The kind of workshop that could use any art supply so you have the freedom to use what you already have on hand. The kind of workshop that was all about understanding how to apply the Play Principles.

It’s been a 12 year journey to create this workshop, and the plan was for it to be a two weeks long. But I just couldn’t stop there. I added a third week. And some bonuses. Join me for Playful Art Journaling and the 10 Play Principles.

The workshop begins on Monday, August 2nd, 2021. Then each day, for 21 days, you’ll get a new video.

What’s included:

  • Three weeks of daily videos with five main lessons a week- all with closed captions
  • Printable Downloads: the Play Cheat Sheet pdf, vintage photos, and ephemera
  • Lifetime access so you can watch it at your pace, online or off since the videos are downloadable
  • A supportive community of fellow creatives in both the classroom and the optional Facebook group
  • Your workshop questions answered directly by me
  • 14 Day No Hassle Money Back Guarantee

Plus these bonuses!

Blocking the Bleed
Blocking the Bleed

Five ways to stop Dylusions spray inks (or any art supply) from bleeding through your layers.

Turn Your Pages into Wall Art
Turn Your Pages into Wall Art

Your art doesn’t have to stay in your journal! See how to get those pages up onto your walls!

Mastering Scribble Journaling
Mastering Scribble Journaling

What are the six tricks for getting that loose scribbled look onto your pages? Find out in this bonus!

If you’re ready to ditch the pressure and let the play in then join me for Playful Art Journaling and the 10 Play Principles.

Get the Early Bird price $124 but only until

Sunday, August 1st at 11:59pm EST then it goes up to $149

Why did I choose to use art journaling with the Play Principles for this workshop? It’s a very practical choice for 4 reasons.

  • Flexibility. You can work in any size journal, layer by layer or page by page. Whatever fits your needs.
  • Space saver. An art journal can hold 30+ pages and if those were each a canvas, that would require a lot of space to store them all.
  • No pressure. Your journal is a no pressure place to experiment and explore- it’s just paper after all. And you don’t have to show it to anyone if you don’t want.
  • Versatile. You can use just about any art supply in it and what you create in your journal can easily become something you put on your wall.

Are you wondering if you’re using the right supplies?

What are the right supplies for art journaling? Or mixed media? Or for play? Whatever you have, whatever brand, in any colors you love, those are the right supplies to use! The perfect supply is the one within arm’s reach. There is no perfect supply that everyone must use. There are just the ones you enjoy, like, and have. During the workshop you’ll see me use a variety of supplies. I’ll explain why I chose them and what other supplies do the same thing.


If you’re ready to ditch the pressure and let the play in then join me for Playful Art Journaling and the 10 Play Principles. I can’t wait to see where the play takes you!

Get the Early Bird price $124 but only until

Sunday, August 1st at 11:59pm EST then it goes up to $149

{ 1 comment }

Packing materials make wonderful tools for gel printing! You might be wondering what came with this? Me too! I can’t remember what on earth it was but I couldn’t part with the stuff that was meant to be recycled or trashed. That happens often, since just about anything can become a pattern making tool for the Gel Press plate!

If you’d like to know more about gel printing, I’ve got a page of resources for you from getting started, to storing your plate, to techniques to make prints, to what to do with your prints!