09 November 2019

Update + Local heART Journaling Classes


In 2009, I discovered art journaling and it has been life-changing. heART journaling, for me, is a creative outlet for self care and one that I have been practicing for 10+ years. Let me share a little bit about what it means to me..

It begins with the story of a late bloomer and my mantra, IT’S NEVER TOO LATE ..because it was 20 years ago that I rediscovered my creativity and that was after a 25 year lapse! The years of my youth were spent with a Sail, but no Rudder… and certainly no Anchor. My focus was outward. Creativity has grounded me.

As for my re-discovery, it began with rubberstamping, card making, scrapbooking and memory books. Next, I came across mixed media collage that allowed me to add paint, collage and glue to my toolbox. I incorporated female images, mostly vintage and was beginning to sketch faces. This is when my art began to feel more personal and relatable yet still very two dimensional as I was working on separate pieces of card stock and cardboard.

This is where it gets exciting! When I came across art journaling I could finally put down words and everything had a home, in one book THIS FELT SACRED. And the more open and honest I’ve been on these pages the more it has felt like a coming home to myself. And I can look back and remind myself how far I’ve come.


I began to teach locally in 2018, a life-long dream come true. I taught two 4-week sessions in the Fall, titled “Grief Through Art Journaling” sponsored by New Milford VNA, where I volunteer. And in Feb 2019 held a day-long retreat with owner, Rebecca Doring, at Quiet Spruce Wellness Center on Bank Street. She taught a morning and an afternoon meditation and each was followed by an art lesson in our journals.

The next series of workshops will be held locally, with both day and evening sessions available, starting in Jan 2020. There will also be a private Facebook group for participants. For more info and to be added to the mailing list, please contact Vicki Cook: cookievf@yahoo.com

05 August 2013

My Quiet Corner

I live with my 2 adorable cats and my husband of 23 years, in our first home in western CT, not very far from the red dot. In this part of the state, there are many long, winding roads, barns & farms, covered bridges as well as a rich Native American history (Chief Waramaug, the great sachem, lived nearby) with lots of trees and still wild areas, where the houses are fairly spread apart. Not being able to see neighbors, was in our top 5 criteria when we were looking to buy and.. meeting all 5 and THEN SOME, is most likely why we're still here, 21 years later and still in love with the location.

Last night on the porch and today (forecast, above) were perfect examples, of the peace and the rejuvenation that we find here in the solitude of living on a dead end street in beautiful New England: quiet except for the tree toads and cicadas, taking naps, watching a Red Sox baseball game and having to put on sweats before dinner! Nature is all around us and we enjoyed the show that the "battling hummingbirds" were putting on for us at the 2 feeders and even heard the Barred Owl pair screeching deep in the woods.

I am ever grateful that we both count the simple things as blessings, because we have SO MUCH to be thankful for! Living in a quiet corner of our town, being surrounded by trees and having privacy from the neighbors, being perched on the edge of a large, protected nature preserve for hiking and snowshoeing and having so many back roads for biking and long walks with little traffic.. oh, yes, and our health and each other!

April in Boston. At a ballgame, of course!

04 August 2013

Fear of Living Large

...on canvas, that is!

Ready to start my FIRST EVER painted canvas.

I'm back! It HAS been too long, hasn't it? :: insert cricket sound :: The good news is that Effy has inspird me with her 30 posts/30 days challenge, which started on August first. Though daily posting's not likely, it's gotten me off of my keister!

Frustrated, one of the reasons I stopped blogging was that I stopped using my desktop computer when I got my iphone last summer and couldn't attach photos via Safari! Now I am using Puffin for the ipad.. and that should do the trick!

So for my return post, I thought I'd share the (rather earth-shaking) decision I made yesterday to "Go Big" after 1.5 years of creating inside my art journals! yay! Here's a recent 10" x 10" page in my altered book:

And here's the finished canvas, a whopping 26" x 18" ~

With a busy creative life and a rich inner life, I'm anxious to share this journey and I hope you are just as anxious to return. 

08 March 2013

Art Journaling My Pants Off!

my happy place

Although I fully intended to begin Volume II of my Book of Days* on January 1st, it seems my journal had a different plan! In a last-minute rush to complete Volume I at the end of December, something-? made me decide NOT to tear out the last few pages of my altered book and let things unfold, organically. 

8 single pages and 3 double-page spreads later..

I finished almost exactly at  MIDNIGHT on January 31st. Ha!

So on Feb 1st, I began another fabulous journey to lose myself and find myself, through art, by just LETTING GO  

* current Session #1 with Effy Wild ends march 31, next session #2 runs: 1 Jul - 30 Sep. For more info, check out  bookofdays.org. You can also sign up via her NING commuity, theglitterhood.org free of charge and discover all sorts of fabulous art journaling FUN! 

26 October 2012

Trying Something New

An altered birthday card is something I never felt inspired to do it until.. (never say never, right?) I saw the cutest card that looked like my cousin and I (one blone and one brunette) BUT, it had three little girls on the cover.

That meant I just HAD to cut one of them out so it looked a little bit more like US!

I had fun with this little experiment, stretching my creative wings and doing it while on an artist date... in public. So I used a few things I'd included in my travel kit... colored pens, scissors, telephone book pages and really had fun with it. Creativity continues to be a source of wonder for me. I hope it is for you as well. 

15 October 2012

My Prayer

Without the need to hear

Without the need for answers

Without the need to know

Without the need to find


Open to possibility

The perfect solution to all problems

The flow of good things coming to me

God's plan for my life and all those who are in it

That is my prayer.

12 October 2012

Art From My Heart

Tonight, as I was browsing through my flickr collection of the same name, I recalled many fond memories of the wonderful mixed media artist friends I've made over the years through collaborations of all shapes and sizes. We met through flickr, our blogs, Ebay ATC groups, Yahoo groups, NINGs from 6 years ago, challenges, swaps, skinny books, art-e-zine and SO MUCH MORE. So.... here is a random selection of a few of my older art pieces that were part of all that "coming together!" 

I am happy to say, many of us still keep in touch!

Thank you for inspiring me, dear friends! (Art is from June 2007-Nov 2009.)

11 October 2012

Why I Blog

Blogging, for me, is like keeping a diary. It's also an exciting way to keep in touch with friends and family, a chance to practice the art of expression through the written word and through photography..   maybe even to inspire another person in some small way.

I also believe that the only way to find kindred spirits, is to take the time and make the effort and i've been happily blogging my life story for almost 6 years. Thank you for stopping by to share my journey and I will work even harder at keeping in touch!

Scroll down to see a few of the highlights from the last 2 weeks.

Good times with good friends

Random quick-sketch during live-stream with Dede Inkwell

Scanned more CLASSIC family photos (ca. 1960, lower left) and shared them with cousins!

 Hung out with mom, while she visited for 4 days

Went out for pear/gorgonzola pizza, sushi & a movie date!

Made a rubberband journal/notebook for a friend



finished... & now shipping off some happy mail!

Still arranging all of the elements & probing the accompanying thoughts/feelings that come up when asking "what am i doing here?" Self-work is always rewarding & even cathartic! Amen.
So, back to my joy, working in my art journal ~ but 1st, a caramel latte!

06 October 2012

Cover Play

I had so much fun making this cover for my (daily) written journal. The old-skool, composition notebooks are my top choice for the size, the value and for the durable binding that allows the cover to be folded backwards for support while writing.

Simply done with:
  • composition notebook
  • chipboard letters/numbers (or make some) and tacky glue
  • aluminum foil and modge podge 
  • 2 colors of acrylic paint (white + a mid-tone)
  • add black acrylic paint, allow to semi-dry, then remove from surfaces
  • requires touch-up where paint gets removed 
  • rub-n-buff or any metallic paint to add highlights
  • i used glossy accents for my chipboard "slide mount." .. or any embellishment.

Yep, super simple and look at the results  P.S. and charlie helped!

19 September 2012

Letting Go

Yesterday we had a DELUGE (6-plus hours) of heavy rain, flooding, gusty winds and thunderstorms that may have caused power outages/downed trees. As our little "cabin in the woods" is surrounded on all sides by 80-100 foot oaks, we tend to be prepared! (candles lit, our lights flickered twice, but it wasn't to be!)

Listening to the constant downpour reminded me of the long list of weather extremes we've been experiencing lately. Brown winters, cold springs, ridiculously cool summers, therefore... as much i love you fall... I worry that I'm not prepared to move on from the way that the warm summer sun on my bare shoulders relaxes me, the meditative joy and sense of calm that washes over me while tending my flowers and the peace I've discovered while listening to the night sounds of crickets, Barred Owls and "peepers" from the candle-lit screened porch.

But, alas, it's time to let go!   

One of the reasons I'm able to concede, is that I am learning to live in the present, not worrying about what tomorrow will bring. Open, willing, trusting and letting go. And enjoying the rain!

"I should like to enjoy
this summer
flower by flower
as if it were to be 
the last one for me." 
~ André Gide

This favorite quotation describes it to a "T!"

18 September 2012

Gratitude & Little Henry

After somewhat of a drought this summer, I'm happy to report I've felt a :: RUSH :: of creativity over the last week or so, and have been busily working in my art journals, being open to the process and letting the creativity f.l.o.w.

I also attribute my continued affection toward art journaling to the amazing wealth of inpiration I find in my artist friends:
..spending time catching up on their amazing work through their blogs, facebook groups and social websites on NING. Please take a moment to see the WEALTH of information, classes, youtube tutorials, workshops & private coaching that some of them offer!! 

And here's my latest spread about my 17 year-old father's favorite photography subject: his littlest brother, Henry and their family dog circa 1937 ~

11 September 2012

A Love Affair

Yes, I must fess up, it's true! I'm head-over-heels in love with my iphone/apps, since i bought my phone on 3 July (who's counting?) and I've already maxed out the memory :C

Could you blame me???

15 July

27 July

7 aug

14 aug

29 aug

Surrounded by so much captured beauty, i am exhilarated; invigorated and therefore inspired to continue making art, taking more photographs... and have even returned to writing poetry after DECADES of silence. For all of that, I remain forever grateful. This is what truly makes my heart sing!