Journey to a Better Me

MATS Wall Art & Gift

I am still loving my MATS class and sad to see it coming to a close this week. If I can, I am definitely planning on taking MATS-B which focuses on five new markets!

In week four, we focused on the wall art market. I jumped in fully expecting this to be my easiest week. I mean, after all, this was my chance to create a mixed media art piece! It ended up being a bit more challenging than expected and I’m not sure I “love” the final piece, but here is what I came up with.


Finally, week 5 brought the gift market. This market is so exciting because almost anything goes! For this week we were to create art for a zipper pouch inspired by one of our personal collections. For my collection, I chose my art supplies! They are definitely something I’ve collected more and more of over the past year! Here is my finished piece which I have to say, I’d love to own the real thing!


We just have a few things to wrap up in class and then it’s over. I have to say and I said it before, this has been one of the best classes I have taken. I have learned so much and I’m excited to continue creating new art and to see where it may take me!

MATS Update

I mentioned previously that I’m currently taking Lilla Roger’s MATS-A class.

It is the best class I’ve ever taken!

I had planned on giving a little review of each week’s assignments, but then life got away from me, so here is a little review round-up of the assignments so far.

Week 1 was all about bolt fabric. It’s the reason I signed up to take the class. Unfortunately, during the week my family and I were out of town, so while I tried to keep up with the reading, it just wasn’t the same as being able to spend time on it and the assignment. I did get my assignment turned in on time, I just wasn’t able to spend as much time on it as I would have liked. The assignment was to create a fabric design with the theme of “macaroni.” Here is my interpretation, complete with two coordinating designs. Should I sell these at Spoonflower?


Week 2 brought the Home Decor market and the chance to create art for plates. I agonized over this as I really wanted a painterly, watercolor look. That didn’t happen, but I know what I need to work on now! Here are my plate designs:


Week 3 was a very interesting but challenging week, Children’s Books. We got to illustrate either a cover or a 2-page spread for a specific folk tale. I will admit I had a hard time with this one. I had intended on doing a 2-page spread, but my illustrations were not coming together like they were in my head. I spent quite a bit of time on this one, drawing and redrawing, and finally decided to go simple with a cover. It would of course make more sense if you knew the story, but I did try to include various details from it.


This week is all about Wall Art and I am very excited by the assignment. I haven’t yet started but plan to today. Abstract painting, mixed media art, here I come!

Overall, this class has been wonderful. It has really taught me not only a ton about the various markets but also stretched me into new directions as an artist and taught me where I need to grow. I am loving it and highly recommend it. I am definitely planning on taking Lilla’s other classes when I get the chance! The information is invaluable!

Until next time…

Make Art That Sells

As many of you know, I am all about learning new things and continuing to expand upon my skill-set. I love to take classes and try new things. And I am sooooooo excited to be starting a brand new class this coming week called Make Art That Sells. Lilla Rogers is a highly-respected agent and artist in the industry and I’ve wanted to take this class for some time.

Recently, I’ve been feeling a little unsure about my future in the digital scrapbooking industry. I love what I do, I really do, but sometimes it seems to be, I don’t know, not as rewarding as it once was. So as you know, if you’ve been reading my blog, I’ve been dabbling with the idea of going into fabric. I’d love to design a fabric line one day (first goal) and maybe a paper scrapbooking line (almost happened once but fell through as things often do) and who knows what else? I mean, the possibilities are truly endless!

So that’s where Lilla and her class comes in. I’m pushing forward and seeing what else is out there, what else I can do. I want to work on my art – which currently are just doodles here and there in my kits, patterns I design for the digital papers, and my art journals – and see just where this passion of mine can go. I’m excited about this and I plan to share my work from the class here on the blog in case you’d like to follow along. And if you happen to be taking this class with me, let me know and I’ll cheer you on too!

Oh, Lilla had a little prep work, mini challenges, for us in preparing for class which we shared on Instagram. One of them was to draw our shoes in just 15 minutes or less. Here’s what I came up with:


I Want To Be A Runner

I want to be a runner.

I never thought I’d say those words. I had not run since middle school and those were not fond memories. I used to try everything I could to get out of running the mile in gym class. Just the thought of it made me sick to my stomach. I hated running. I didn’t feel good doing it, had pains in my side and could barely breathe. And I certainly wasn’t the fastest in class, not even close.

So for me to say those words now seems like I may have lost my mind. But it’s something I’ve thought of off and on for a while now. I’m not in great shape. Between having two kids, thyroid disease, working from home for several years now, plus my plain dislike of most physical activity, I’ve gained the weight and then some. I’ve tried taking it off, but it certainly has gotten harder in my forties. I’ve even dusted off the treadmill and tried that along with eating clean. Nothing. It certainly gets discouraging.

And then that thought about my possible interest in running came to the forefront again. I remembered hearing about Couch to 5k and how so many were successful with the program. So I looked into it and bought an app and decided to give it a try. I posted on Facebook that I would be starting this and got so much support from my friends. It made me feel good that I had people cheering me on. Then I started the  Day One workout – technically the easiest of them all. I couldn’t even make it half way through the workout. I was disappointed, but it was better than nothing! And I wasn’t about to give up! I did some reading online and figured I was probably going too fast. My next workout I slowed it down a bit and SUCCESS! I finished the workout! And, I felt good! I mean, I was sweating like crazy, but I felt like, wow, I can do this! What a good feeling!

So, while I’ve only just started this program, I’ve gotten a few workouts in and I’m feeling positive. I hope that one day I’ll be running outside and able to call myself a runner. I hope to lose the weight, get healthy and feel better about myself. And I have to say, right now things are looking pretty good!

Here’s a photo from Jordan’s 8th grade recognition program last night. It’s the only “before” photo I have as I really don’t like my picture taken. But it will be interesting to see where I am a few months from now.


Wish me luck!

Love, Light & Joy

I had taken a bit of a break from creating any art. I think I was in a place where I forgot how theraputic it can be to get my hands dirty. I was too consumed with trying to get things “right” in other areas of my life that I did not bother to take some time just for me. And then I watched a video by one of my favorite people, Tamara LaPorte. And it resonated with me. I’ve been struggling with some inner turmoil for a while now and I’ve learned that I need to get it out. This free lesson from Tam was just what I needed. Here it is in case you’d like to check it out too.

So yesterday I got out a brand new art journal that I had previously purchased and started writing. I wrote over both pages, things I’ve been feeling, things I’ve had locked up inside for a long time. Just scribbling across the page. To get it out. No photos of this as 1. I didn’t think to take any and 2. I probably wouldn’t have anyway as these are personal, very private thoughts. But I am sure everyone can relate. Then I slapped on some paint and created the background and began to draw the girl.


In case you don’t know, my studio is in my basement so the lighting is horrid. Sorry!

Once I had the girl down, I just kept going. I felt so free as I created. I didn’t follow all the steps that Tam offered, but I did add a few words of what I want in my life. And here is the finished piece.

jlabre-lovelightjoy2 jlabre-lovelightjoy3 jlabre-lovelightjoy4

The colors of the background are really gorgeous, a vibrant contrast against the mostly black & white girl. I think I kind of love it.

Thanks for stopping by. I think I’ll go create some more art. 😉

Oh, before I forget! Tam is having a huge 50% off sale on her self-study courses TODAY ONLY! I am not affiliated with her in any way at all except that I adore her and her classes. I have purchased three myself that I can’t wait to start! And I’m already in Life Book 2015 which I LOVE!!! Check it out right here.

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